Buying Time

A crucial cabinet meeting on restructuring the Ceylon Electricity Board and the Petroleum Corporation has been put off for two weeks, amidst street protests by unions. A crucial cabinet meeting on restructuring the Ceylon Electricity Board and the Petroleum Corporation has been put off for two weeks, amidst street protests by unions.

Most of the 52 trade unions from the Ceylon Electricity Board took to the streets Monday, threatening an all out supply disruption if controversial reform plans go ahead.

Fears of a fuel shortage also saw motorists’ queuing up outside petrol sheds to tank up, with Ceypetco unions also threatening to join the CEB trade unionists.

Sri Lanka’s Cabinet was to meet this evening to take a decision on restructuring the loss making giants, a meeting that’s been put off, the Government Information Department said on Monday

Under the restructuring proposal, Ceypetco will hand over a third of its assets plus 49 percent to India’s Bharat Petroleum.

“Cabinet will take it up in two weeks,” Ceypetco Chairman Jaliya Medagama said.

“Trade unions have every right to strike. That is their right. What you saw today was a lunch t