Sri Lanka’s CEB should not subsidize places of worship: power users

Chief Regulatory Officer at CSE Renuke Wijayawardhane presenting the listing certificate to Executive Chairperson at Renuka Hotels Shibani Thambiayah

Apr 04, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s power utility should stop subsidizing places of religious worship which had their own methods of deriving income and some were operating commercial businesses, respondents at a hearing on a tariff hike said. “Places of worship are given power at very low rates and I do not think it is fair for other people to bear that burden,” Keerthi Kariyawasam, a representative of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party said.

“Places of religious worship have different ways of being maintained.”

He was among nearly 100 respondents who made submissions at a hearing called by the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka on a proposed tariff hike by the state-run Ceylon Electricity Board.

The Lanka Sama Samaja Party is a left leaning socialist party.

Unlike parties which are backed by the religious right and sometimes turn fascist-nationalist, socialists do not use religion to gain power, and have frequently been at odds with the Church in Europe where they originated.

Place of religious worship and charities gets unlimited units of electricity at around 7.0 rupees a unit based on proposed tariffs with the first 30 units as low as 1.90 rupees compared to an average cost of 20 rupees.

“This subsidized ra