My recipe for travel free Sri Lanka - Let John do it


We say Sri Lanka is the Island Paradise, Small Miracle and even the Wonder of Asia. Is it really? I wouldn't think so. However, if we want to make Sri Lanka the Island Paradise, I, as the Street Walker, have my recipe for Sri Lanka. Let me start with my ingredients, the mixture and even the preparation. Tighten your seat belts. Here we go. Firstly, to improve the transport system the President of the Private Bus Owners Association and the Chairman of the Central Transport Board should be put behind bars for ten years. We do not need a transport minister who does not use public transport. How could we improve the transport system in Sri Lanka, if he or his deputy or officials do not travel daily either by bus or train?

Impose traffic laws strictly. It should be fair to all, from the man or woman driving a luxury /expensive car to the man riding a simple cycle. Cycles should be given priority and cycle lanes should be developed in all cities. Bus drivers should be told to give way to cycles rather than trying to run over them. They should be put behind bars if they do not follow the rules. Buses have to be of similar sizes, not in various sizes and shapes. Only ten colours will be allowed. All vehicles which are not roadworthy must be taken off the road and destroyed. No one will be allowed to use a vehicle for more than 8 years. No country will be allowed to dump old and used cars or other vehicles in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka cannot be a garbage dump anymore.

Members of Parliament and other politicians will be banned from using luxury vehicles to ‘serve’ the people of Sri Lanka. The vehicle given to them should be used only for official purposes and not private use. They will not be allowed to use Benz, BMW or other cars. They will be provided with Volkswagens made in Kurunegala. Their wives, dogs, girlfriends, mistresses, boyfriends, maids and cooks will be forced to use public transport. If not, they will be jailed properly, not at the prison hospitals. They will be allowed only one official vehicle and there will not be security or backup vehicles. Sri Lanka is very much at peace and politicians do not need security at all; these backup vehicles are a menace and create trouble and obstructions. There will also be a speed limit for their vehicles and they have to obey all traffic rules and speed limits. Sri Lankan politicians will not be allowed to speed or break rules just because they are in a hurry to go to the toilet all the time. The movement of their vehicles will be monitored by a Citizens’ Committee.

School transport will be done only by proper school buses like in other countries. There should be uniformity and small vans will be thrown away. They will not be allowed to block the gates and other areas. Each bus will be allowed to carry only a certain number of school children. They should be able to travel in comfort and a parents’ committee will decide who would go as the caretaker on a daily basis.

Proper bus stands and railway stations must be built and proper bus halts should be erected. It should be standardised. All drivers and conductors should be given a uniform and a proper training. In some instances buses will not have conductors , instead we can install ticket machines at bus halts or the driver could collect the money and issue the ticket because by the time these things takes place, Sri Lankans will or might be very disciplined. All members of the Bus Mafia will be imprisoned for life.

Traffic Police will be strengthened. Their salary will be increased according to living standards. They will be well taken care of to enable them to enforce the law strictly. No one will be above the law, but below the law. Fines will begin from 100,000 rupees. There will be a points system in the drivers’ license and licenses cancelled if motorists do not obey the law. If anyone is killed due to a road accident they will be sent to gallows after a proper hearing. Life for Life. No NGO will be allowed to intervene.

All motorcyclists and tuk-tuk drivers will be sent for compulsory training and rules enforced strictly on them. It is also proposed to reduce the number of tuk-tuks, and in some cases tuk-tuk will be allowed only in certain areas. It is proposed to do away with the importation of tuk-tks in time to come and provide Volkswagens built in Kuliyapitiya in the Kurunegala district. Sri Lanka will be soon a tuck-tuk free nation. There will be a proper transport policy and everyone will be allowed to move freely and happily. Those who walk to office daily should be given special incentives and other health benefits. All doctors will be ordered to walk towards a healthy nation. Duty free permits will be a thing of the past.

Finally, Nimal Siripala de Silva, who is always sleepwalking, will be removed immediately and Big John, John Amaratunga, will be made the Minister of Transport in Sri Lanka. His official vehicle will be a bus which would help him to understand the people of Sri Lanka at all times.

Enjoy walking in Sri Lanka. If not, just dream on.

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