Connect with us

News

Railway a ticking COVID-19 bomb, warns Station Masters Union

Published

on

Earlier precautions only observed in the breach

Train commuters were not transported in keeping with the health guidlines and that might lead to the community spread of COVID-19, Sri Lanka Station Masters’ Union (SLSMU) warned yesterday.

President of the SLSMU, Sumedha Somaratne said that the passengers had been asked to write their name, address, telephone number and national identity card number on a piece of paper and to put it into a box at the railway station. This was not a successful arrangement, Somaratne said.

“Sanitation facilities must be in place at the railway stations and passenger information must be gathered accurately. The government has said the number of passengers should not exceed 75% of the carrying capacity of a compartment. But how do we implement this? Do we count the number of passengers?

There is no way to ascertain the exact information on the number of passengers. This is not practical.”

The SLSMU added that the system of issuing train tickets online, which was implemented during the first wave of the COVID-19, was no longer in operation. Under that system passenger information was systematically stored, Somaratne said.

President of the SLSMU added that the efforts of the President, the Security forces and the health sector to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus would be in vain if the Railway authorities did not follow the online ticketing system.

Kasun Chamara, Secretary of the SLSMU, told The Island that the number of railway passengers could increase in the coming week, and a proper plan should be drawn up to collect passenger information, as the increase of passengers could increase the risk of spreading the virus. (RK)



Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

UNDP: Rs 600 bn tax cut a huge mistake

Published

on

Director of the Sustainable Finance Hub of the UNDP Marcos Neto has called the decision to do away with a range of taxes here a fundamental mistake committed by Sri Lanka.The comment was made at the Parliament complex during an interactive dialogue on ‘Revenue Generation as a Pathway to Sri Lanka’s Economic Recovery’ on Tuesday (09). It was organised on a request by Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, former Chairman of the Committee on Public Finance to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The Opposition as well as several other parties alleged that the government had lost as much as Rs 600 bn due to the controversial decision to do away with a range of taxes including PAYE, NBT (Nation Building Tax), Withholding tax, Capital Gain tax imposed on the Colombo Stock Exchange, Bank Debit tax and unprecedented reduction of VAT (Value Added Tax). The 15% VAT and the 2% NBT which amounted to 17% imposed on all goods and services were unified and reduced to 8%, effective from the first of December 2019.

The decision was taken at the first Cabinet meeting of the Gotabaya Rajapaksa government on 27 Nov. 2019.Governor of the Central Bank Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe is on record as having said that the powers that be ignored the IMF warning not to do so and also the immediate need to restructure Sri Lanka’s debt (SF)

Continue Reading

News

Debate on power tariff hike on 29 Aug.

Published

on

Party leaders have decided to debate the electricity tariff hikes in parliament on 29 August.The date was fixed for the debate following a request by the main opposition SJB.The debate will be held from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm on 29 August.

Chief Opposition Whip Kandy District MP Lakshman Kiriella told Parliament on Wednesday (10) that as per the proposed tariff hike the monthly electricity bill of domestic consumers would increase by 75 percent to 125 percent. “This is unbearable. This is like sending the people to an electric chair while they are struggling to make ends meet amidst a massive increase in cost of living.

How does this government expect people would be able to pay such an exorbitant price for electricity? We demand a debate in parliament before this proposed tariff hike is implemented,” Kiriella said.

Continue Reading

News

British national to be deported

Published

on

By Rathindra Kuruwita

The Department of Immigration and Emigration has ordered Kayleigh Fraser, a British national whose passport has been taken into custody after she posted on social media anti-government protests, for violating her visa conditions, to leave the country by 15 August. The Department has already cancelled her visa.

Earlier this month Immigration and Emigration officials visited Fraser at her home and took her passport into custody. The Department said Fraser had been in Sri Lanka for medical reasons since 2019. She had returned home several times, it said.

The Immigration and Emigration officers told her to visit them within the next seven days.Fraser on 02 August said that a group of immigration officers had visited her and asked for her travel document. She said that officials told her that they would return her passport when she visited the Department of Immigration and Emigration.

Fraser added that she had received an anonymous call asking her to leave Sri Lanka as soon as possible before facing ‘big problems.’ Immigration officials visited her house a few days after the call.

Fraser has shared a number of photographs and videos from the ‘Gota Go Gama’ site. Human Rights groups and activists have accused the Sri Lankan government of using Emergency regulations to harass and arbitrarily detain activists seeking political reform and accountability for the country’s economic crisis.

Continue Reading

Trending