[CITIZENS' Mail - (13-12-2017)] | Daily News

[CITIZENS' Mail - (13-12-2017)]

Be emphatic, strikers!

It is a common culture in Sri Lanka that the employees of departments, corporations and other government and private institutions use the monster weapon of the strike to resolve their issues. This is not a healthy and acceptable culture because in each and every activity of strikers the innocent general public will become the scapegoat.

The present railway strike has severely affected the public especially the daily railway commuters. There are two main modes of transport in Sri Lanka, the bus and the railway transport that is not even to the satisfaction of passengers. The thousands of commuters who completely depend on the railway transport underwent untold hardships and inconvenience during the last three days strike in the country. The commuters had to use the bus transport as an alternative option for their present crisis. The real problem arises here is the SLTB along with private bus service cannot accommodate both the bus passengers and railway commuters at a time.

As a result, all the buses became jam-packed and overcrowded paved the way for accidents and unpleasant incidents for the travellers. Besides the officers and students who used to travel on warrant season tickets left helpless and there were thousands of tourists who came here to spend their holidays stranded at the railway station without a proper solution. There were loads of essential goods to be sent through the railway transport stored in the stores of the railway stations without any preservative arrangements.

Moreover, the GCE O/L exam is now taking place. This railway strike probably will have a psychological effect on students to make them think whether there will be enough transport for them to reach the exam hall on time, subsequently this dismay about the transport may hamper their performance at their exams. In the meantime, the teachers who are supposed to perform their exam duty also will get affected by this strike. This strike will also create conflict between the employers and employees because no employer will entertain their workers’ late arrival to work and offices were compelled take leave because of the strike. In the meantime, the government has already declared the railway service as essential service in the country but the workers still continuing with their strikes whereas the Minister of Transport has stated those who are away from work these days will be considered as vacated their posts. How far these statements going to help and console the minds of people who are facing numerable problems due to this inhuman and unscrupulous strike. The strike has severely affected the women workers a lot, when a woman misses her train she will have to wait for a bus for a long time, especially in the late evening the situation is worse because the robbers who are hanging around the bus stations will probably attack them or rob their money and valuable things. The same thing will happen to the tourists which will bring discredit to country and people as well.

We Sri Lankans never think about others’ inconvenience and loses to people and the government due to this strike. When we compare our country with western countries it is quite different in the sense the strikers in the western countries protest against the government to fulfil their demands in a manner the strike affects neither people nor the government. Although we are given permission to protest against the government for our rights, there is a limit to it.

We Sri Lankans abuse and overuse our democratic freedom to a certain extent. One man’s freedom cannot be depriving another man’s rights. First of all, we should do our duties and know our responsibilities. That’s why one of the former presidents of America John F Kennedy once advised his countrymen like this: don’t ask what the country has done for you, ask yourself what you have done for your country. This thought-provoking verses quite applicable to our country. We must not misuse our freedom for our personal gains. Strikes and protests should have a limit in our country in order to restore democracy in the country. In the meantime government also one reason for this strike, they should have started early negotiation with the strikers so as to prevent the strike.

M Jalaldeen Isfan 


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