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Sri Lanka orders bus operators to turn down the music

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Colombo (AFP)

Sri Lanka's government on Thursday gave bus operators two weeks to turn down the notoriously loud music in their vehicles following complaints from passengers.

Transport minister Mahinda Amaraweera has given bus operators until January 15 to voluntarily turn down the volume or he would bring in legislation, said ministry spokesman Dharma Wanninayake said.

There are an estimated 20,000 private buses plying Sri Lankan roads, notorious for playing loud Sinhala, Tamil and Hindi songs, mainly from low-budget movies.

Long-distance buses also frequently play high-decibel music videos.

Wanninayake said there had been frequent complaints from long-suffering passengers. Many on social media have called for a complete ban on music in buses.

The National Transport Commission (NTC), the private bus regulator, was also offering a playlist of 1,000 Sinhala, Tamil and Hindi songs free of charge to be played in buses -- at a reasonable level.

The list is not compulsory, however.

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