Sri Lanka’s new point based penalty system for traffic violations is now in effect. However the Lanka Union of Unlicensed Drivers (LUUD) has announced that the new scheme will not affect its members.
Speaking from hospital where he’s recovering from a head injury, LUUD president Leon Trotsky was dismissive of the scheme.
“None of our members have licenses so there is nothing to confiscate. Anyway, we are down trodden people who can’t survive if we give in to these colonial licenses.”
It is unclear how the government will respond to this brazen act of defiance. Complicating the situation is the fact that the LUUD has long been a major funder of a key member in the ruling coalition : the Lanka Libertarian Party.
Neither the government nor the LLP have commented on the matter.
Paga watch – a group lobbying for standardised bribes – expressed severe misgivings about the point system. They pointed to criticism about the system made by Lanka Private Bus Owners Association (LPBOA).
In addition to the concerns of the LPBOA, Paga Watch claims that system will make licence holding drivers hostage to the ever rising price of bribes. They also pointed out that politicians, their offspring, and other powerful people who are above the law will also not be affected by the point system. In a stinging rebuke of the LUUD, Paga Watch convener S.D Katusayaka, accused LUUD of becoming part if the country’s Nomenklatura.
Unless the new system can take unlicensed drivers into account, the only threat that LUUD members face will be verbal attacks from fringe activists such as Paga Watch.