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LPBOA to boycott meeting with President

2013 Jul 09

By Umesh Moramudali


Lanka Private Bus Owners Association (LPBOA) had decided to boycott a special discussion with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, scheduled for today (8) at Temple Trees, regarding the annual revision of bus fares.


LPBOA President, Gemunu Wijeratne, said it was futile to engage in further discussions on the matter and threatened a countrywide bus strike if bus fares are not increased this week.He said although the annual revision of bus fares was due on 1 July 2013, in accordance with the National Bus Fares Policy, the National Transport Commission (NTC) and the Ministry of Private Transport Services had delayed to present the revised fares.


“According to the National Bus Fare Policy, the revision of bus fares needs to take place annually, and is due on 1 July every year. It is the responsibility of the NTC and the Ministry of Private Transport Services to present the revised fares at the stipulated date. They can’t shy away from that responsibility,” he said.


Wijeratne also alleged the NTC wants to defer revising the fares for at least three months.
Meanwhile, the All Island Private Bus Owners, Federation (AIPBOF), claimed they do not have faith in the LPBOA, and would not support any strike action launched by LPBOA.


General Secretary of the AIPBOF, Anjana Priyanjith, speaking to Ceylon Today, said they intend participating in the special discussion with President Rajapaksa, adding they would inform the President about their demand for an overall increase of 10% on all fares.


Priyanjith further said, they expect a positive response from the President to their demands. He also said the AIPBOF does not intend engaging in a strike this week, and emphasized that if a strike is to be launched, it should be meticulously planned and executed.
When contacted by Ceylon Today in this regard, the Chairman of NTC, Roshan Gunawardane, refused to comment on the matter.

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