Railway TUs issue warning
An invisible hand is interfering with action taken towards the
progress of the Railway Department, Railway Trade Union Collective said
at a press conference in Colombo Monday.
Twelve years ago, General Manager Railways P P Wijesekara was accused
of bribery and the charge was not proved after an audit inquiry. The
same incident has been dug up to sling mud at this official, Sri Lanka
Freedom Railway Workers Association Secretary, Nadeera Manoj said.
The Railway General Manager is one of the oldest and most experienced
mechanical engineers in the Department, he said.
His appointment has been made by the Ministry. Any decision in this
regard should be taken by the Cabinet. Court will decide weather he is
guilty or not.
The General Manager has increased the number of serviceable railway
engines from 42 to 63. He increased fuel transport by railway from 30 to
72 percent, Railway Station Masters Association Chairman K V Jayasekara
In spite of all these he has been subjected to criticism by certain
State media. This seems an attempt to hinder the President’s development
The Fort Railway Station is the only station charging for toilet
facilities. It has earned a Rs 1,200,000 annual income. But the
authorities have spent Rs 1,750,000 on beautifying the Fort Railway
Train operations to the North carried out unhindered even during the
war period. The number 77 train ran an average of 3000 people on a
single trip. This facility was completely changed with it being
converted to railway number 1. Now the train is run as an express train.
It is carrying a negligible number of passengers today.
The Railway Trade Union accuse that these wasteful changes have been
made by a few parties in the Ministry and the Railway Department.
The Railway Trade Union Collective has sent a message about the
present situation to President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Transport Minister
Kumara Welgama. They expect to discuss the issues with the Government.
“If we are unable to arrive at a satisfactory decision, we will start
trade union action”, they said.