Sri Lanka private bus operators ignore strike call

July 9, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s privately-run bus operators said they would keep their buses on the road on July 10, ignoring the token strike call of a Marxist-Nationalist former ally of the ruling coalition. The Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) which popularized policies of wholesale government recruitment, indiscriminate subsidies and increased state intervention in 2004 and extended them in 2006, fell out with the government this year.

In June Sri Lanka was officially hit by 28.2 percent inflation despite the government changing the weights of the widely watched Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI) to understate inflation after it hit 29.9 percent in April.

“To come to this economic situation, to this inflation level, certain political parties contributed,” the head of the private bus operators’ association Gemunu Wijeratne said.

“We are not a cat’s paw of these political parties or the government. The private bus operators take independent decisions.”

Wijeratne said people were suffering with massive inflation because of mis-management of the economy by the government and if the bus-operator downed tools the entire state sector would come to a halt.

He said private bus op