US embassy warns against touchy Sri Lankan trishaw taxi drivers

ECONOMYNEXT – US embassy in Sri Lanka Thursday asked women visiting Sri Lanka to avoid travelling in ubiquitous three-wheel taxis because drivers were likely to make sexual advances through inappropriate touching.

In a security warning posted on its website, the embassy advised women to avoid travelling in autorickshaws and especially to keep away from using the cheap mode of transport at night.

"The US embassy Colombo has been made aware of an increase in incidents involving tuk-tuk drivers in the Colombo area inappropriately touching female passengers," according to the security warning to its citizens.

"Females should avoid travelling in tuk-tuks alone in Colombo."

Many of the reported incidents occurred at the end of a ride, the embassy said asking those using tuk-tuks to take photos of the driver and registration plate before boarding so that it could help track offenders  .

Should they use a tuk-tuk, the women were advised not to spend too much time inside the vehicle at the time of ending the ride as they were most vulnerable at that time.

"Many of the reported incidents occurred at the end of the ride – be extra vigilant during this time and try to limit time alone inside the tuk."

Both foreign and local women have reported undue advances when travelling alone in trishaws. A British woman recently pulverized a trishaw driver who tried to pinch her bottoms.

There are some 1.2 million autorickshaws in the country and most of them are used as taxis in a country where public transport is often unreliable and overcrowded.(COLOMBO, June 29, 2017)





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