Energy minister threatens legal action against petroleum workers who do not report for duty

Kanchana Wijesekera

Sri Lanka’s Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera. (AFP / Ishara S. KODIKARA)

The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CEYPETCO) and the Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals Ltd. (CPSTL) have announced that employees who do not report for duty are to be sent on compulsory leave from today (March 29).

Accordingly, the management of the CEYPETCO has decided to send on “compulsory leave” the trade union leaders who tried to obstruct the fuel distribution activities yesterday (March 28) and exerted pressure on the employees who were working on fuel distribution duties and attempted to obstruct those services as well as the workers who supported these union leaders.

Meanwhile, Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera posted a twitter message last night (March 28), it says “I have instructed Chairman CPC & CPSTL to take necessary disciplinary steps to consider termination of employment and any legal steps necessary against trade union activist or employees who are disrupting the distribution of fuel, disrupting the work of other employees or is acting in violation of the essential services orders”

Minister posted another twitter message last night and said, “Request the public not to panic over shortages in fuel supply. There’s adequate stocks of fuel in the country & distribution will continue. Fuel distribution that was earlier delayed due to trade union activists forcibly preventing employees from attending to their duties have been normalised with police and armed forces providing necessary security at the terminals & distribution.”

UPDATE – 01:39 PM: 20 petroleum workers including trade union leaders were sent on compulsory leave, Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekera said.

“On Tuesday (March 28) the fast they launched was a failure. Only trade union leaders were present for the fast. During the lunch hour, they entered the premises under the influence of alcohol and threatened the employees and took measures to withdraw them from their duties,” the minister told reporters today (March 29) in Colombo.

The Minister noted that due to this action, workers were intimidated to report to work.

“Therefore, we sought protection from the Police and Military. The employees worked at night under police and military protection,” the Minister said.

The list of names is given below:

  1. B.G.D.Dilan Gamage – Muthurajawela Terminal
  2. Premanath Gamage – CPC
  3. Samika – CPC
  4. Bandula Saman Kumara – CPC
  5. Asoka Ranwala – CPC (Retired)
  6. S.M.C.S.Chinthaka Gunasekara – CPSTL / Kolonnawa
  7. M.A.S.W.Nishantha – CPSTL / Kolonnawa
  8. R.A.Ranathunga – CPSTL / Kolonnawa
  9. S.M.D.J.Wijegunaratne – CPSTL / Kolonnawa
  10. P.N.Perera – CPSTL / Kolonnawa
  11. U.E.G.Sanjeewa Priyadarshana – CPSTL / Kolonnawa
  12. H.U.K.Serasinghe – CPSTL / Kolonnawa
  13. D.S.Dheeraka Balasooriya – CPSTL / Kolonnawa
  14. G.H.Niluka – CPSTL / Kolonnawa
  15. S.D.Jayantha Paregama – CPSTL / Kolonnawa
  16. S.D.S. Sarda Dissanayake – CPSTL / Kolonnawa
  17. U.D.Palitha – CPSTL / Kolonnawa
  18. S.H.R.Virajith – CPSTL / Kolonnawa
  19. Damith Priyantha – CPSTL / Kolonnawa
  20. R.A.C.S.Ranaweera – CPSTL / Kolonnawa