‘Won’t rent buses to political organisations hereafter’

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At least 50 buses were damaged during the clashes that erupted on 9 May in Colombo, after SLPP supporters attacked peaceful anti-Government protest sites.

Private bus associations urged the Police to arrest those responsible for torching the buses on 9 May when thugs attacked peaceful protesters at GotaGoGama and MynaGoGama.

According to Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) Chairman Gemunu Wijeratne, the buses provided by his association to support the struggle on 9 May were burned akin to the height of terrorist activities.

During the carnage, a number private buses were completely destroyed, according to Wijeratne.

“This was a deliberate attack carried out by a segment of the public. They attacked and set fire to private buses transporting passengers, and commuters on those buses were also attacked. This is how we make money. We rent our vehicles for trips, pilgrimages, weddings, and a variety of other events. The bus owners had to face a huge loss as a result of this incident. The owners can’t afford to buy buses right now because they cost more than a million,” he added.

He lamented that many people who rely on the private bus industry for a living have lost their way as a result of this incident, and emphasised that their organisation will no longer rent buses to political organisations or for other purposes.

He said the IGP should act quickly to apprehend those involved. Otherwise, there would be uncertainty in providing public transportation in the future.

BY Nabiya Vaffoor