Sri Lanka faces fuel distribution crisis

[TamilNet, Saturday, 14 August 2004, 11:13 GMT]
Sri Lanka is facing a major fuel distribution crisis after trade unions of the state owned Ceylon Petroleum Corporation went on strike against a proposed plan to sell a major share of the institution to an Indian oil company. Panicked drivers jammed fuel filling stations in many parts of the island as distribution of petroleum products stopped after the strike started Friday afternoon.

Talks between the minister of finance and representatives of sixteen Petroleum Corp trade unions to resolve the crisis Saturday morning failed after the minister refused to give a promise in writing that the proposed privatization plan would be scrapped.

The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation had 300 fuel distribution stations in Sri Lankan. One hundred of these were given to Indian Oil Corporation last year.

The Sri Lankan government signed a deal with the Indian oil company Barath Petroleum to give it another hundred fuel filling stations.

"It would take at least 48 hours to get the fuel distribution system back to normal", a Ceylon Petroleum Corp official told TamilNet Saturday.

 

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