Batticaloa rickshaw owners protest

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 01 September 1998, 23:04 GMT]
All autorickshaw owners in Batticaloa town went on strike today to protest against a move by the local branch of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) to promote a new association against theirs.

About 100 autorickshaws gathered in the heart of the town for the protest.

The autorickshaw has become the main mode of civilian transport in Batticalao after the public bus service. The Autorickshaw Owners' Association of Batticaloa is hence an influential organization in the town.

The local branch of the island's ruling party, the SLFP, had made several attempts in the past through its organizer Mr.Rajan Mylvaganam (formerly the local organizer of the United National Party) to influence and control the Batticaloa Autorickshaw Owners' Association.

As all these moves had failed, the SLFP had wooed some disgruntled elements in the association with a view to forming a rival organization.

A spokesman for the association said that they are strongly opposed to such manipulations by local politicians.

"Our general welfare will be at stake if there are two competing organizations" he said.

 

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