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Tuesday, 22 April 2014 - 18:56
Railway line obstructed using a log; 20 trains including office trains delayed: Video
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A tense situation arose today at the Colombo Fort Railway station after a group of substitute railway workers protested at the conclusion of the fast unto death, held earlier in front of the Fort Railway station.

The fast, based on several demands began yesterday and Minister of Transport Kumara Welgama told the protestors that a cabinet paper will be presented in this regard.

Subsequently the General Manager of railways had handed over a written promise to those engaging in the fast based on the statement made by the Minister of Transportation.

After the decision to call off the fast around 3pm, a group of substitute railway workers started a protest against the decision claiming that although they were given many assurances earlier, no solution was found so far.

Later the protesters threw railway sleepers on the tracks and continued their protest crippling services on the Southern coastal line.

Consequently the Ruhunu Kumari express train which was scheduled to leave Fort Railway Station at 3.50pm for Matara was also delayed by two hours.

The train control told our news team that 20 other services including office and normal trains to different destination were also delayed due to the worker protest this afternoon.

Joint Railway Services Union General Secretary Sampath Rajitha stated that the decision to call off the hunger strike was based on written assurances provided to them.

However a substitute railway worker who joined the protest stated that although assurances were given in previous situations it was to no avail and that they are still facing the same issues today.

Meanwhile riot police armed with water cannons were called to the scene as substitute workers continuously disturbed railway operations.

Later the protesters dispersed and train services returned to normal around 5.35 pm.



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