SLA threatens Jaffna transport workers to suspend protest

[TamilNet, Saturday, 09 June 2007, 12:18 GMT]
Protest by the Jaffna Transport Board workers in Koa'ndaavil bus depot against the abduction of one of the workers in the Jaffna Islet of Veala'nai Thursday was terminated Saturday noon following threats by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) to the administrative officials in the depot, Transport union officials said.

Public bus transport in Jaffna district came to a standstill as workers at Point Pedro and Kaarainakar bus depots joined their Koa'ndaavil colleagues in the protest.

SLA troopers visited twice to the Koa'ndaavil depot and threatened with serious consequence including threats to life if the officials did not suspend the protest and immediately returned to work. Koa'ndaavil depot officials, however, refused to talk to the media, but reliable officials of the Workers Union, disclosed the nature of the issued threats to the media.

Bus services in the Peninsula resumed from Saturday noon, civil society sources in Jaffna said.

The Transport workers spokesperson said that they will be actively working to get the abducted colleague released, and would not rule out relaunching future work stoppages if their colleague is not released.

Mathiyaparanam Pratheepan, 33, a father of three children, from Kozhumpuththu'rai, Jaffna, and working as conductor at the Koa'ndaavil bus depot was travelling in a bus to Ku'rikaadduvaan when he was abducted as he stepped out in Veala'nai to report the engine failure of the bus.



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