Women warned to avoid traveling tuk-tuks in Sri Lanka – Sexual harassment on rise

COLOMBO: The US embassy in Colombo warned yesterday its citizens visiting Sri Lanka to avoid travelling alone in tuk-tuks after a spate of sexual harassment complaints. The embassy, in a message posted on its website, advised women against hailing the brightly-colored auto-rickshaws used widely to get around in Sri Lanka.

“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,” said the statement. “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.

Those opting to use tuk-tuks were requested to take photos of the driver and registration plate before boarding. There are some 1.2 million auto-rickshaws in Sri Lanka, most used as taxis in a country where public transport is often unreliable and overcrowded. – AFP




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