Jaffna drivers in a quandry

[TamilNet, Monday, 22 December 1997, 23:59 GMT]
Drivers in Jaffna complain that the Sri Lankan traffic Police is making unfair demands of them.

They say that the Police expects them to produce their driving license on demand.

They end up in courts when they fail to do so, which is very often the case.

The Registrar of Motor Vehicles does not have a branch in Jaffna. Therefore, anyone who wants to obtain a driving license, get vehicle insurance etc., has to fly to Colombo.

This is a very difficult, tedious and costly process. And many people from Jaffna are scared to stay in Colombo for such work due to the indiscriminate arrests and detention of Tamils in the city. Then they have to find somebody who might be willing to lend them a vehicle for the RMV's qualifying test for obtaining a driving license.

As there was no government administration in Jaffna since 1985 and as all land routes to Jaffna were completely cut off since 1990, vehicle owners and drivers in the peninsula had no need to obtain licenses and other documents.

When Jaffna was run by the Liberation Tigers they introduced a vehicle tax and were trying to develop traffic regulations, licensing etc., when the Sri Lankan army moved into Jaffna in late 1995.

 

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