Ambassador of the Netherlands promotes cycling to death in Sri Lanka

Over 250 cyclists killed in motor accidents in 2018

Ambassador of Netherlands, Her Excellency Joanne Doornewaard, posed for a photo shoot on a bicycle ride back to her office after a meeting with Colombo Mayor Rosy Senanayake, an expensive posh English speaking politician turned former Mrs. Sri Lanka.

Colombo Municipal Council has partnered with The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Sri Lanka to pilot Colombo’s first ever car-free day, ‘CarFreeCMB,’ to take place on Sunday, 14 July from 6 am to 12 noon.

The ambassador who works in a fortified office in Colombo city and who usually travels in luxury cars might be benevolent to show some good practices from her country to its former colony on which’s exploitation the present elegance of the Netherlands was founded. Protect nature! Use environment-friendly, healthy transport! A good message definitely.

But does she know what happened to Thisula Abesekara? She was a social activist and a singer. She might be better known as sister of Sunila Abesekara, one of the leading human rights activists in the region. Thisula was run over by a truck when she was cycling on a road in Colombo 3, a couple of kilometers away from the Netherlands embassy.

Colombo roads are extremely dangerous mainly because of the unruly bus drivers, ill-mannered truckers and creepy tuk-tuks. Sri Lankan motorists are less obedient to traffic laws, more furious and desperate.

In fact, there are almost no fools on roads to take the risks of riding bicycles on week days. There are no cycle lanes on the roads of the Colombo city. Motorists do not respect the rights of the cyclists even on the few roads with cycle lanes in outskirts.

If the Ambassador wants to understand the situation, she can wait on Galle Road few kilometers away from her office in the morning and see what has happened to the bus priority lane the Ministry of Megapolis with Police introduced few months back to which no motorist respects and even police does not care.

In 2018, a total of 3,164 Sri Lankans died in road accidents. The majority of them 1,211 being riders and pillion riders of motorcycles. Another 930 being pedestrians, 423 were passengers of vehicles and 234 were drivers.. Highlighted here, 251 of the victims were cyclists.

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