Sri Lanka is travelling back into the stone age while all other countries of the world are moving ahead in technology and science, UNP Deputy Leader Ruwan Wijewardene said.
He was speaking at a function held on behalf of declaring open the Siyambalapewatte Mithuru Children’s Park which was built with personal funds of Wijewardene and the Biyagama, Siyambalapewatte Village Development Association. Wijewardene said that the problems of the country are aggravating gradually.
“People are wondering how they can survive. A situation has arisen where food items cannot be purchased tomorrow for the same price they were bought at today,” he said.
People’s income does not increase at the rate the price of goods go up. At the same time even if there is money it is not possible to buy goods. As a result, there are queues for milk powder, gas and kerosene. The newest queue to form will be the one to buy candles, he said.
He said that the CEB has asked for permission from the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL)for imposing a two-and-a-half-hour power cut until May this year. The Commission has granted their approval.
The CEB General Manager said that even though this permission has been obtained they will not go in for immediate power cuts. On the other hand, the Minister in charge is also saying that there will be now power cuts. However, during the immediate past, there were power cuts, both during the day time and night time. How can a country move forward like this? Will investors come to a country where power cuts are being imposed?, he queried.
On the other hand, all essential services of the people have collapsed. The CEB says that the reason for this power crisis is that the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) not issuing furnace oil for them and that they are forced to impose power cuts. The CPC says they are not releasing furnace oil since payments have not been made for years on behalf of oil issued. The fact that is apparent here is the weak management of the government and due to that problems have arisen in every field of the country.
Several power plants have become inactive. We have doubts whether power plants are even being maintained properly. It has been decided to close the Oil Refinery at Sapugaskanda due to the lack of dollars. It is at this refinery that furnace oil required for power plants are being produced. When that is shut down, there is no way furnace oil can be imported. There are signs of dry weather in the immediate future and as a result we cannot trust in hydropower either.