Powerless

April 15, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka lost electricity power Sunday as the entire national electricity grid failed shortly before 3.00 pm local time, officials said. Sri Lanka has been under-investing in infrastructure for years, with most of the tax revenues going to sustain a bloated public service or the war.

In the last two years, the situation has got worse with 42,000 unemployed graduates being hired into the government and more planned this year.

According to the 2007 budget, 49 cents out of every tax rupee collected will go for wages and pensions of the public sector.

Public sector wages and pensions are not taxed in Sri Lanka.

Updated The Ceylon Electricity Board, the country’s state-owned power utility, restored power to most parts of the capital Colombo about two hours later.

Officials have not yet pin-pointed the cause, but lightning strikes to main transmission lines have been blamed for previous failures.

The grid has shown a tendency to fail in recent years with the cash-strapped utility needing treasury handouts to pay its debts.

A national failure was last experienced on November 15, with the country plungi