Plus - Letter to the editor

VIP escort vehicles a public hazard on our roads

Not a day passes without a road accident, often serious ones resulting in deaths, caused by speeding so-called “VIP Vehicles”. The most recent incident involving a VIP vehicle caused the death of a motorcyclist who was killed by a speeding VIP back-up vehicle.

Our President and others are shouting from every rooftop that the 30-year war has come to an end. Well, if that is the case, then why do we go on putting high-security convoys at the disposal of Provincial Councillors, MPs and Ministers who were not involved in the war in the first place?

Meanwhile, those providing the VIP security escort behave as if they were appointed by the Lord Almighty.

You have only to step into the streets of Colombo to see VIP vehicles whizzing past like bullets, while the ordinary citizens have to literally drive their vehicles off the roads. If you are a pedestrian, you are forced to stay as far from the road as possible and usually end up in a drain or ditch.

The question we would like to ask our President is whether all this VIP security is necessary now? It must be only in Sri Lanka that you find not-so-very-important persons, such as Provincial Councillors and Nation Building Ministers, and MPs supplied with elaborate security escort, and all paid by the tax-payer.

Mr. President and the Honourable Secretary of Defence, should you not now consider putting your foot down and ensure that the general public is not treated in this manner, as we are aware of some of the antics of these gentlemen enjoying such security.

The people are gradually getting fed up with the current situation. A clear signal was the recent apathy of the Southern voters, who did not turn up to vote at the Southern Provincial Council elections (a little over 60 per cent). One cannot sit on one’s laurels for too long.

It is time to reduce the security and implement a code of conduct/discipline for the officers comprising VIP security escort. It is also time to open the closed roads in Colombo.

There is no point in talking about “freedom of movement” in the North and the East if we cannot move about freely in Colombo, the country’s capital, as important roads in the city continue to be closed.

Disgusted Motorist, Colombo

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