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Mahinda supporters disrupt first Matara - Beliatta train journey

Mahinda supporters disrupt first Matara - Beliatta train journey

Preparations were underway to launch the first train journey from Matara - Beliatta this morning after its constructions was over and Transport and Aviation Minister Arjuna Ranatunga has gone to Beliatta to make a journey by train to Matara. 

When joining in an inspection tour from Beliatta railway station, a group of supporters who extended their support to former President Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa had opposed the move. What they had said
was that this was erected by Mahinda Rajapaksa and that therefore it is not correct for the minister to open this. Banners and photographs of of Mahinda were fixed in the train and the protestors blocked Arjuna from making that journey. They had been yelling and made their protest with placards in their hands and approached the minister and expressed the idea that ministers from somewhere should not try to collect 'marks' from what Mahinda has erected. 

Anyhow, the minister has refrained from taking any action against this protest during this commotion. Attention of the minister was focused upon by the media and he had refused to express his ideas to the media. Though thesaid train was to travel this morning from at 10 from Beliatta to Matara, it actually did not run at that scheduled time as such. The minister has finally got into the train concerned with the support of security personnel who had accompanied him and thus when the train had started to commence its journey a short distance ahead a crowd of a young man who had collapsed from a roof and died at the time this rail track was being constructed had sat on the middle of the rail track demanding suitable compensation in that respect and making a protest. 

Mr. Arjuna Ranatunga then promised to provide them with a suitable solution after which the crowd were removed from the railway track, when the train once again resumed its journey to Matara. Passengers at various points along Kekanadura to Beliatta had been on the two sides of the railway displaying banners and posters carrying Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa's figure, thus engaging in protest. When the minister was on his way, some Mahinda fans had expressed their joy by hooting. 

Constructions of the proposed railway line from Matara to Kataragama will be launched under three phases and a distance spanning 26 kilometres as the first phase from Matara to Beliatta was scheduled to be opened  this way today while the route from Beliatta to Hambantota and from Hambantota to Katharagama and the rest of the route is to be completed in future. The longest railway tunnel in Sri Lanka spanning 615 metres in Kekanadura is situated along the Matara - Beliatta railway line. 

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