Sri Lanka’s politicians play petroleum politics

Dec 05, 2008 (LBO) – Despite printing money to subsidize oil and driving inflation sky high, speculating in oil derivatives to keep prices down and getting the entire nation into trouble, Sri Lanka’s politics of petroleum deception is still riding high. When inflation is high the ‘burden’ of government is borne more by the poor and old people with financial savings, because rich people have real assets such as land that protects them with rising prices.

Where in the World?

“At 216 rupees a litre, a gallon of petrol is 928 rupees,” minister Abeywardane said.

“If prices were changed on a floating formula a gallon of petrol would have cost 928 rupees.”

Minister Abeywardane did not tell reporters where he came up with the 216 rupees a litre or 928 rupees a gallon international price figure.

Even in the United States, petrol prices hit only about four dollars a gallon which was less than 500 rupees, and lower than the Sri Lanka price of 157 rupees a litre at its peak.

Ordinary people are in the dark about political statistics. Dollar prices and pump prices are difficult for people to relate to. Political claims go unchallenged.

At 147 dollars a barrel, a litre of crude works out to only 99.25 rupees with the rupe