No matter how much we talk about development, most people still travel in buses... - Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena

An induction program was held today (2024.06.09) at the Temple Trees under the patronage of Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena under the approved recruitment and promotion procedure of Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) staff.

The Prime Minister commented-

"In 1957, Hon. Philip Gunawardena established the government under the leadership of Hon. Bandaranaike to nationalize private bus companies to establish the CTB and Mr. Philip Gunawardena presented that bill to the Parliament. At that time, there was a big debate in the parliament that we should take it piece by piece. However Mr. Philip Gunawardena insisted that under the theme they should be taken in a single day. The depot employees throughout Sri Lanka occupied the bus depots throughout the night until the early hours of the morning.

The first bus that Hon. Bandaranaike nationalized is still available. SLTB has always played an extremely important role in the economy as it is a huge facility for the daily transportation of the people in distant villages and the transportation of light goods. We have given priority to transport school children. That day Minister Bandula and I went to court when they were trying to cancel the scholarship season ticket. The Supreme Court gave a decision to protect this as it is something that belongs to the people. Therefore, the season ticket was protected for lakhs of our children.

We believe that now there will be a great life that will transform the development of SLTB. Now we have ended some areas where we had various frustrations and our hearts, our strengths and our unity have been formed and we have the ability to give the best that we can give to the people and especially to the children of the country. I was also the Minister in charge of SLTB a long time ago. At that time too, there were many such demands and battles. We were able to discuss and resolve them one by one with each trade union. In particular, I think that the reward is a unique situation enjoyed by the people of the SLTB.

Therefore, we need to protect this institution in particular. Most of the public travel by bus. The backbone is the road that the common people of our country travel on a daily basis. No matter how much we talk about development and progress, most of the people still travel by buses. This is the reality. If this backbone is protected, the buses in the distant villages will continue to run. Therefore, this should be protected."

Mr. Bandhula Gunawardena, Minister of Transport commented-

"Today is a turning point in the 67-year history of our country’s Sri Lanka Transport Board. It is a historic day when the Sri Lanka Transport Board has been appointed to a fixed system of promotions in a certain way in the history of the Ceylon Transport Board.

We all know that when a government changes, the first thing that happens after the election results is that the losers are kicked out and the winners take over the seats. That system will disappear after today.

Langama, SLTB was born as a child in 1956 and existed in the world at that time. There were two ways in the world to solve the basic problems of a social system. One is the market system among the people of countries like the United States of America, France and Germany, and the other is solving the problems of the people under the decentralized planning system.

The prime minister’s father, Mr. Philip Gunawardena, was the pioneer to establish CTB through the South Weston bus strike. Mr. Philip Gunawardena is the only political leader who was jailed for the work he did for public transport service."

State Ministers Dilum Amunugama, Sisira Jayakodi, Members of Parliament Gamini Lokage, Yadamini Gunawardena, SLTB officials including President Lalith De Alwis, Secretary of Sri Lanka Public Transport Employees’ Society Nuraj Singh and many appointees participated in this event.

Prime Minister’s Media