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Rebuilding of KKS – Vavuniya rail track
JVP unions offer free labour with demands
We can do it without them – Dallas

Railway employees are offering free labor to re-build the Kankasanturai – Vavuniya rail track defunct since 1990. They said that they could rebuild the Matara – Colombo rail track which was completely destroyed by the Tsunami waves in 57 days in 2004. Their only demand is cancellation of the agreement between the RITES company and Sri Lankan government to develop the Southern rail track.

The LTTE had attacked and blasted some compartments of the Colombo bound ‘Yal Devi’ train which left from Jaffna at Murukandi station on January 19, 1985. The rail track was also damaged in the attack and the trains beyond Vavuniya had stopped with the incident. At present the government is willing to re -commence the trains to Jaffna with security forces having liberated the entire area recently.

Convener of the Organisation for Protection of the Properties and the Rights of Railway Employees (OPPRRE), Sumathipala Manawadu said that their members had cracked the myth that only ‘Suddhas’ can build Sri Lankan rail tracks by rebuilding 136-km-long Matara – Colombo rail track in 2004.

"When Southern rail track was severely damaged by the tsunami, the foreign companies said they needed a year to rebuild the track. But our engineers and labourers had done it in 57 days. Now, the Government has entered an agreement with an Indian Company RITES to develop the rail track. We demand they cancel the agreement and if they do we will rebuild the KKS – Vavuniya tack free of charge," Manawadu said.

Transport Minister Dallas Alahapperuma when contacted told the The Island that the pro JVP OPPRRE wants to always create trouble. If not they can’t survive. That is why they make such demands.

"We prepared a special project to re build the northern rail track. It will be launched on March 23. Most trade unions informed us that they will give their support for the task. Railway checkers promised to give their commissions for six months towards the project. Employees of the Transport Ministry, Department of Motor Traffic and Sri Lanka Transport Board will give a day’s salary. People from the Hambantota district have already come forward to re build the Jaffna railway station and Matara district people the Kilinochchi railway station," Alahapperuma said.

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