Going Nowhere

Lending agency loans, for electricity sector reforms in Sri Lanka, expire this week but reforms talks between government and trade unions are still deadlocked. Lending agency loans, for electricity sector reforms in Sri Lanka, expire this week but reforms talks between government and trade unions are still deadlocked. A Rs 3 bn loan from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and a Rs 3 bn loan from the Asian Development Bank(ADB) for Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) reforms, are due to expire this week.

However, talks on reforms are stuck with the main body of CEB trade unions opposing lending agency stipulations to convert the CEB into companies.

“We will never agree to privatisation,” says Ananda Nimalaratne, convenor, CEB Joint Trade Union Front.

The Joint Trade Union Front represents nearly all CEB trade unions with over 30 member unions.

“The CEB’s problems are power generation related. We can’t generate low cost power that can be sold at a reasonable price,” says Nimalaratne.

“So if the generation problem is not solved the CEB will continue selling power at below cost, even after it is turned into companies.” h