Sri Lanka train strike hits thousands of commuters
October 12 2017 11:13 PM
Sri Lankan commuters board on a train at a railway station during a nationwide railway strike in Colombo yesterday. Train engineers and conductors staged the strike demanding higher pay.


Thousands of commuters were left stranded in Sri Lanka yesterday as railway unions launched an indefinite strike urging the government to fulfil their demands.
The unexpected strike was launched on Wednesday evening, at a peak rush hour, leading to the cancellation of all trains throughout the island nation, Xinhua news agency reported.
A tense situation erupted at the Fort Railway Station in the capital when passengers were informed that trains had been cancelled.
The angry passengers launched a protest against the railway unions, resulting in special police teams being deployed to calm the situation. The unions launched the strike alleging that a group of junior train drivers, who were still under training, had been appointed by breaching the normal recruitment procedures.
The unions urged the government to look into the matter and revise the recruitment procedure of trainees.
Thousands of commuters at the railway stations yesterday morning were stranded. Groups were seen get onto special buses. Special luxury buses had also been parked outside the stations to transport passengers to various destinations.
The strike also caused severe traffic jams in Colombo and on its outskirts.

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