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Bandula Gunawardhana Announces Measures to Tackle Assaults on SLTB Bus Crews by Private Buses

February 28, Colombo (LNW): Transport, Highways, and Mass Media Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardhana declared on [insert date] that stringent actions will be taken to temporarily revoke the route permits of private buses involved in assaulting Sri Lanka Transport Bus (SLTB) crews. The minister emphasized the need for collective efforts to combat the rising incidents of terrorism on the road targeting SLTB.

This statement followed the Minister’s engagement with SLTB employees protesting outside the Mass Media Ministry against the frequent attacks on SLTB bus drivers and conductors by private bus employees. During the site visit, the Minister discussed the challenges faced by the protesting workers and urged trade unions to refrain from resorting to strike action, allowing proper police investigations.

Minister Gunawardhana announced his decision to prohibit private buses from entering Central Bus Stand in Pettah due to the ongoing attacks on SLTB crews and government property damage. Despite requests to allow private buses for the implementation of a combined timetable system, the Minister assured the implementation of a joint timetable as scheduled.

During a special meeting attended by Minister Dr. Gunawardhana and SLTB trade union representatives, discussions were held on workers’ demands. The incident involving the assault on the driver and conductor of an SLTB bus from Nugegoda to Homagama Pitipana was highlighted, prompting the Minister to pledge immediate investigation and action.

The Minister reiterated his commitment to stand for SLTB and its staff, urging employees to work peacefully and avoid taking matters into their own hands. Emphasizing the proper implementation of the law, he assured ongoing support and announced the initiation of a special insurance scheme for the safety and welfare of SLTB employees.

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