The Railway Technical Services Trade Union Committee is set to launch an indefinite national rail strike beginning at 00:01 (local time) on Wednesday, August 29, after failing to reach an agreement with the authorities (on salary increases notably). A similar action was held August 9, leading to the complete suspension of rail services in the country. The strike enraged some commuters, who attacked union leaders and staged a massive demonstration in the capital Colombo in front of the Fort railway station.
Rail strikes are not rare in Sri Lanka; in May, unions launched a 48-hour action claiming that the authorities had failed to fulfil their demands (salary increase). The Sri Lankan rail network is 1568-km (974-mi) long, with 179 main stations. Sri Lanka Railways operates intercity services connecting major towns on the island as well as commuter rail services in the Colombo region.
Individuals in Sri Lanka should note that several Western governments have warned their citizens of the risks involved in rail travel in Sri Lanka due to safety issues and a number of fatal accidents.
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