Stop robbing people of their right to movement

By Janaka Weerakoon, Battaramulla

The regular closure of the road from Kollupitiya leading to Parliament is a great inconvenience to the public. Parliament Road is a main thoroughfare used by thousands during working hours. Those who live along that route have to use those very roads to get around in Colombo. People from the suburbs cannot avoid using this road to get to Colombo. There are no proper alternative routes either. For example, traffic diverted from Koswatte junction through Kalapaluwawa is virtually at a standstill for hours in the morning.

Traffic on Parliament Road

Imagine the waste of time, manpower and fuel. Also, there is the psychological trauma. Not being able to get to one’s destination on time or keep an appointment adds to the stress and tension. Patients can die on the way to hospital.

It is rather absurd to close roads for politicians who travel in bullet-proof vehicles, all at a huge cost to the tax-payer who is stuck on the roads. The politicians are given armed escort, paid by the people. So why should the people suffer because of the politicians? Imagine if an explosion occurs in such a traffic block. How many innocent lives would be lost? Perhaps our lives don’t matter. It matters only that politicians are safe. Why should only politician be protected? They are the very people who have created this mess. They are the people who rob the country’s wealth. Now they are robbing the people of their basic human right of freedom of movement.

It is the government’s duty to make life easy for its citizens. No government should harass the people in this manner. Before an election, the politicians worship the people and beg for their votes, but once they get elected they torture us.

We undergo much hardship so that these legislators can go to Parliament to sling mud at each other. Politicians should live close to Parliament (perhaps the Speaker could accommodate some of them at his residence). If necessary, the entire Parliament area can be surrounded by barbed wire fences and trenches. Then we, the ordinary people, can move about freely.

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