Although the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation marked a golden age from 1960 to 1990s, it is now in a very serious situation, said Dr. Ashoka Ranwala, President of the Ceylon Petroleum General Employees Union and Representative of the Ports Petroleum and Electricity Alliance against the sale of national resources.
President of the Ceylon Petroleum General Employees Union and Representative of the Ports Petroleum and Electricity Alliance against the sale of national resources, Dr. Ashok Ranwala made these observations at a media briefing held at the JVP Head Office in Battaramulla on Monday (04) where he further stressed .
Amendments were brought in 1962 and 1964 to strengthen the monopoly on oil. The refinery was also built on an amendment. These amendments were brought to strengthen and empower that monopoly of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation.
To provide relief to the people and to ensure foreign exchange earnings. However, the Petroleum Act of 2002 was amended and the monopoly power was dissolved. As trade unions, we raised a big voice against it.
The Petroleum Corporation was divided into three parts and given a share to Shadhak Company. After that the Corporation continued to face a serious financial crisis. But the Rulers said that the Act would be amended to strengthen the Corporation. The Rulers told us that they were going to bring in an Act No. 26 of 2003 to utilize the petroleum resources of Sri Lanka. But so far no conditions, covered by that Act have been taken.
At the face of an election and a crisis is spreading rapidly in the country, media propagandas began to rumble about the oil exploration. It is said that a Petroleum Resources Exploration Authority will be established. However, a new Act of the same nature is going to be brought after completely repealing this Act.
This Act states that it will work to “Formulate a National Policy on the emitting petroleum industry” But Act No. 28 of 1961 can play this role. Act No. 26 of 2003 can also be used for this purpose. But we have serious doubts about the action to be taken with regard to petroleum resources by bringing in a new Act.
Meanwhile, the Indian Foreign Secretary went to inspect the oil tanks in Trincomalee. It is clear for us that the Indian Oil Company is getting ready to renew its agreement, which will expire in 2023. We have filed two legal cases against the IOC for forcibly seizing a resource belonging to Sri Lanka.
It is mentioned in an Annexure to the Indo-Lanka Accord that India should be informed if any decision is taken regarding oil tanks and act upon. The government is getting ready to sign a license which contains harmful conditions going beyond the Act of 2003. Since there are no provisions in the present Act, the measures are being taken to fulfil the requirements. Hence this Act should be questioned in the parliament. The government should explain to the country the reasons to repeal the existing Act and bring in a new Act. .
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