Trinco railway workers protest over tsunami relief

[TamilNet, Monday, 31 January 2005, 12:26 GMT]
About two hundred family members of about sixty employees of the Government Railway in Trincomalee held a demonstration condemning the government's failure to provide relief since the Tsunami hit their quarters and demanding immediate relief and other assistance any further delay. They sat across the rail track blocking the morning Colombo bound passenger train from leaving Trincomalee railway station, sources said.

Railway employees families protest in Trinco
Family members of railway employees preventing the train from moving Trinco railway station
Railway employees families protest in Trinco.
Children of railway employees with placards standing on the buffer of the train engine
The train, which was to leave Trincomalee station at 7 in the morning, left two hours late by about nine a.m. following the sit in-protest. A police team led by Inspector Wanshanatha rushed to the protest site and commenced inquiries into the dispute. Family members of the railway employees complained to the Police that until Monday they were not provided with any relief or assistance by the government authorities despite several appeals, sources said.

They further brought to the notice of the Police that tsunami waves entered their quarters. They fled to nearby railway station building and sought refuge in the upper floor when sea water risen to about five feet in their quarters. They lost all their belongings but no assistance such as cooked meals was supplied to them for the start, they said.

Inspector Wanshanatha said he would take immediate steps by meeting the civil authorities concerned in this regard and to provide them with necessary assistance. Protestors agreed to police request to call off the protest till a solution is found.

On representation made by affected railway employees of all communities, Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) emergency relief team rushed to their quarters Saturday afternoon and provided them with relief and other assistance as they were not supplied with any relief since December 26, sources said.

 

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