Sri Lanka train strike strands thou­sands

Oman Daily Observer - - FRONT PAGE -

COLOMBO: Thou­sands of com­muters were left stranded in Sri Lanka on Thurs­day as rail­way unions launched an in­def­i­nite strike urg­ing the gov­ern­ment to ful­fil their de­mands.

The un­ex­pected strike was launched on Wed­nes­day evening, at a peak rush hour, lead­ing to the can­cel­la­tion of all trains through­out the is­land na­tion, Xin­hua news agency re­ported.

A tense sit­u­a­tion erupted at the Fort Rail­way Sta­tion in the cap­i­tal when pas­sen­gers were in­formed that trains had been can­celled.

The an­gry pas­sen­gers launched a protest against the rail­way unions, re­sult­ing in spe­cial po­lice teams be­ing de­ployed to calm the sit­u­a­tion.

The unions launched the strike al­leg­ing that a group of ju­nior train driv­ers, who were still un­der train­ing, had been ap­pointed by breach­ing the nor­mal re­cruit­ment pro­ce­dures.

The unions urged the gov­ern­ment to look into the mat­ter and re­vise the re­cruit­ment pro­ce­dure of trainees.

Thou­sands of com­muters at the rail­way sta­tions on Thurs­day morn­ing were stranded. Groups were seen get onto spe­cial buses. Spe­cial lux­ury buses had also been parked out­side the sta­tions to trans­port pas­sen­gers to var­i­ous des­ti­na­tions.

The strike also caused se­vere traf­fic jams in Colombo and on its out­skirts.

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