Petrol Saga

Dec 27, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s main opposition United National Party (UNP) plans to file a contempt-of-court case against the government for its refusal to obey a Supreme Court order to reduce petrol prices, a media report said. The Daily Mirror newspaper said UNP wants to file a contempt-of-court case against the Cabinet, the Finance Ministry and state-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) for not complying with the court ruling to reduce the price to 100 rupees a litre.

Also named in the petition would be the Colombo-listed Lanka IOC, a unit of Indian Oil Corp, and fuel retail stations.

The newspaper quoted UNP parliamentarian Ravi Karunanayake as saying that, based on current global prices, petrol should cost only 24 rupees a litre.

But, he told a news conference, the government sold it at 122 rupees a litre, ignoring the recent judicial order.

Diesel, which should cost only 39 rupees a litre, was sold at 80 rupees, he said.

“UNP national organizer S B Dissanayake was jailed for contempt of court for two years,” Karunanayake said.

“Similarly, those who do not comply with the court ruling can also be charged with contempt-of- court. We will not hesitate to take action against them.