SLA attack on bus driver triggers Jaffna transport workers strike

[TamilNet, Monday, 03 July 2006, 09:41 GMT]
Members of Jaffna district transport workers union held a peninsula-wide work boycott Monday protesting against the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) attack on a bus driver, conductor and passengers Sunday along the KKS-Jaffna road, transport union officials said. The assaults took place following the grenade attack on SLA soldiers by unknown gunmen at Kokuvil junction on Sunday. The passenger bus from Tellipalai was detained for more than four hours near the Kokuvil junction, affected passengers said.

The driver was admitted to the Jaffna Teaching Hospital with serious injuries.

Buses from main Kondavil Bus Depot and the secondary depots in Point-Pedro and Karainagar joined the protest paralyzing civilian travel across Jaffna district Monday.

A meeting was held Monday 1:00 p.m. at the Our Lady of Rosary (OLR) Catholic Church in the Jaffna Town between SLA officials and the representatives of Transport workers convened by Jaffna Assistant Government Agent Mr Sivasamy to resolve the dispute, civil society sources said.

The transport workers placed the following four point demand to the SLA officials at the meeting:

  • SLA troopers should not travel in passenger buses
  • Investigation into the Sunday's assault must be held immediately
  • SLA commanders must assure saftey to bus drivers, conductors and passengers from SLA soldiers, and
  • buses should not be diverted through alternate routes to make way for SLA convoys.

The Transport workers agreed to suspend the strike after the SLA officials agreed to respond within a short period. They also warned the AGA that the protest strike will resume if no satisfactory answers are received for their demands, transport officials said.

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