ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation said it is sending union leaders who halted fuel distribution from a key terminal on compulsory leave, amid protests over privatizing a part of its distribution network.
On Tuesday, fuel distribution at the Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals Ltd was disrupted with some fuel bowsers being turned away, leading to customers queuing up to buy fuel.
Sri Lanka’s cabinet this week gave the go ahead to lease 450 CPC fuel stations to three companies as part of efforts to liberalize fuel distribution.
The management of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation has decided to send union leaders and workers who assisted them to intimidating distribution staff on compulsory leave, a statement said.
CPC and CPSTL premises are declared out of bounds for them, the statement said. All other workers and officials were instructed to report to work as usual.
Sri Lanka’s Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said fuel distribution has begun.
“Fuel distribution has commenced at Kollonnawa and Mithurajawela terminals at 6am this morning,” Minister Wijesekera said in a twitter.com post.
“Police & Armed forces will continue to assist them. Adequate fuel stocks are available in the country.
It has been noticed that some fuel stations has not placed orders anticipating the April price revision. Request the Fuel Station operators to place their orders accordingly & maintain the minimum stocks required.”
Fuel distribution has commenced at Kollonnawa and Mithurajawela terminals at 6am this morning. Police & Armed forces will continue to assist them. Adequate fuel stocks are available in the country. It has been noticed that some fuel stations has not placed orders anticipating the…
— Kanchana Wijesekera (@kanchana_wij) March 29, 2023
In Sri Lanka both CPC and Lanka Indian Oil Corporation is involved in fuel distribution. Lanka IOC, which is a part Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals also uses the common user facility to store and distribute fuel to most parts of the country.
However in Trincomalee LIOC has its own terminal. (Colombo/Mar29/2023)