Four wild elephants including a calf were killed in a train accident during the early hours of today near Madu.

Reports said that the elephants were crossing the track when they were hit by a Colombo bound night mail train.

Accordingly, the accident occurred between the railway stations in Madu and Chettikulam in Vavuniya.

  • Noor Nizam – Canada.

    In recent times there has been reported many a railway accidents on the main rail tracks of Sri Lanka, in the media and TV news. These accidents have been trains (engines) colliding with motor vehicles such as cars, double cabs, lorries, motor cycles, 3 wheelers and even bicycles. Human beings have also been hit down by these trains. Rarely it has been heard that animals being knocked by running trains, but in recent times, even these speechless species who have been hit by trains has increased. Fatalities have been many and mostly the blame has been framed on the victims. Investigative journalism by freelance journalists in the wake of this phenomena is revealing that the main cause for this situation is the blanket defensive rule that a train travelling at high speed cannot be brought to an immediate or abrupt halt as it would cause the trains derailment and lead to many hundreds of passengers traveling in the train subject to death and destruction of valuable government property, the train and carriages becoming a total wreck. While this can be justified, yet the fundamental principle of professionalism, efficiency, carefulness, vigilance, alertness and DISCIPLINE it is reported have been completely neglected as “A CODE OF CONDUCT” for the railway engine drivers by the Department of Railways. On the other hand, these engine driver killers of human beings and animals, enjoy a blanket “MYTH” that an engine driver of a C.G.R train cannot be questioned and is immune from police inquiries of the “CODE OF CONDUCT” when any train accidents are reported on the railway track. This is the inhumane, unauthorized and unacceptable KILLING LICENCE that these C.G.R. engine drivers are using to make these killings, when such killings, accidents and railway disasters can be avoided. The main cause for this situation, it is reported by freelance journalists going deeper into this phenomena is that the common use of alcohol and or drugs by these engine drivers and assisting staff, especially on long night runs has become a habit. This has led to the causes of the fundamental principle of professionalism, efficiency, carefulness, vigilance, alertness and DISCIPLINE (THE CODE OF CONDUCT) been fully and totally VIOLATED by C.G.R. Railway Engine Drivers and the assisting staff on board the engines. How can the C.G.R. Engine Drivers and their assisting staff on board the railway engines BE THEIR BEST other than be NEGLIGENT when they are “DRUNK” or “INTOXICATED” by drugs such as “ganga” or “kudu”. The death of the 4 elephant calves on the railway track near Vavuniya was a result of such a situation, it is suspected. The Ministry of Transport under which the C.G.R falls and the Department of Railways should immediately take steps to set- in-motion a high level inquiry/probe consisting of a team of legal, administrative and police personnel who are free from any links, commitments or other dealings with the C.G.R/Department of Railways to probe the accident that killed the elephant calves on the railway track near Vavuniya on the early hours of August 17th., 2016. The outcome of such a probe can prevent further killings by trains, both elephants (animals) and human beings. If there is a lw for DRUNKEN DRIVERS on the roads and highways, then why not a law for DRUNKEN RAILWAY DRIVERS?

    Noor Nizam. Peace and Political Activist, Political Communications Researcher and SLFP Stalwart.