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Fuel Crisis: CEB warns of delays in restoring power

COLOMBO (News 1st); The Ceylon Electricity Board has warned that there can be delays in restoring the supply of electricity following outages.The Ceylon Electricity Board said the delays in restoring sudden breakdowns can be attributed to the fuel shortage to attend to such matters.The CEB said it would deploy its vehicles based on priority needs, and requests the General Public to take necessary measures to prevent inconveniences.

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Army launches internal probe on Lt. Col. who kicked a man at a filling station - - Sri Lanka - county Camp
Army launches internal probe on Lt. Col. who kicked a man at a filling station
COLOMBO (News 1st);  Sri Lanka’s fuel crisis is worsening to a level where unarmed people are being subject to beatdowns from Police and Military Personnel while waiting in line for fuel for days.It is reported that these ugly scenes are taking place when the Police and the Military intervene in the fuel distribution disregarding the fact that the common man has been waiting in line for days to access limited amount of fuel.An incident where the Commanding Officer of the Wehera Army Camp in Kurunegala kicked back a man, took place when people who were in line for many days questioned why they were not given fuel, and why the military was obtaining fuel.The incident took place at the Yaggapitiya Filling Station located along the Dambulla – Kurunegala Main Road.Sri Lanka Army Spokesperson Brigadier Nilantha Premaratne speaking to News 1st said the Army had launched an internal investigation on the Lieutenant Colonel alleged to have carried out the assault.The Army Spokesperson said that the incident had taken place when a group of people who had scolded military personnel in profanity, were being escorted to the Police.He said that two people who behaved in an unruly and violent manner were handed over to the Police, adding that a certain group is attempting to create such incidents to bring disrepute to the Army.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa - Fuel Crisis: President orders to streamline distribution; Army & STF to provide security to filling stations - - Sri Lanka
Fuel Crisis: President orders to streamline distribution; Army & STF to provide security to filling stations
COLOMBO (News 1st); Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has instructed to streamline the distribution of fuel stocks that are available in the country, as well as the shipment due to arrive in the next few days.The President noted that the Finance Minister and the Central Bank with the involvement of State & Private Banks have drafted plans to open Letters of Credit (LCs) to facilitate the process of placing orders for fuel shipments.The President had made these comments during a meeting on Friday (17) on the distribution of Petrol, Diesel, and LP Gas.At the meeting attention was drawn towards inking agreements with suppliers for long-term fuel purchasing.The President’s Media Unit said that Public Transport will be given priority in fuel distribution.The President has said that SLTB owned filling stations should be used to deliver fuel for Private Buses, Tourist Coaches, and School Vans.The President also ordered for identified filling stations to deliver fuel for essential services, and the Sri Lanka Army and Police Special Task Force to provide security to filling stations.Security forces were ordered by the President to strictly enforce the law against fuel hoarders.The meeting also discussed to streamline the distribution of gas, and place new orders for LP Gas.
Sri Lanka receives 3,500 MT of Gas, new Indian Credit line to support fuel purchasing for another four months – PM - - India - Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka receives 3,500 MT of Gas, new Indian Credit line to support fuel purchasing for another four months – PM
COLOMBO (News 1st); Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesighe on Tuesday (14) said that a LP Gas shipment of 3,500 MT has reached Sri Lanka.“The gas from this shipment will be delivered to premises that obtain stocks in bulk like hospitals, hotels, crematoriums, etc,. The next shipment will deliver LP Gas for a period of four months and it will take another 14 days for us to access that shipment,” said the Prime Minister.He said that Sri Lanka is in talks to secure a shipment within those 14 days.Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said the authorities will ensure there is a continuous supply of fuel, but it will only meet 50% of the current demand.“Priority will be given for electricity generation, transportation, and other essential services,” he said.The existing stocks will last for another seven days, said the Prime Minister adding that a shipment of 40,000 MT of fuel will reach Sri Lanka by the 16th of June 2022.In addition, individual Petrol & Diesel shipments will reach Sri Lanka thereafter, completing the requirement of fuel for this month.The Prime Minister said two fuel shipments will be procured for the month of July.He said that a new Credit Line with India will support fuel purchasing for another 4 months from July.The Premier said that the fuel deliver will be available for 50% of the demand in the country.He said that he obtained Cabinet approval to print money in order to make the fuel and gas purchases for the country.The Prime Minister said that Sri Lanka does not have any rupee income, and by the end of the year the rupee crisis will solved with the introduction of taxes.“We are speaking with the IMF to solve the dollar crisis.
UN calls for US$ 47 Mn for Sri Lanka assistance - - Usa - Sri Lanka
UN calls for US$ 47 Mn for Sri Lanka assistance
COLOMBO (News 1st); The United Nations team in Sri Lanka and non-governmental organisations launched a joint Humanitarian Needs and Priorities (HNP) Plan today (9), calling for US$47.2 million to provide life-saving assistance to 1.7 million people worst-hit by the economic crisis over a four-month period, from June to September.This directly responds to the Government of Sri Lanka’s request for a United Nations-backed multi-sector international assistance to respond to the most urgent needs arising from the recent crisis, particularly focusing on health care and essential medicines, food and agriculture—including targeted nutrition services— safe drinking water, emergency livelihoods and protection.Development and humanitarian partners in Sri Lanka estimate that nearly 5.7 million women, children and men are in need of immediate life-saving assistance. The 1.7 million people targeted under the HNP are among those whose livelihoods, food security and access to health services are most at risk and need immediate support.“Multiple factors are impacting Sri Lanka’s food security situation; if we don’t act now, many families will be unable to meet their basic food needs,” UN Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka Hanaa Singer-Hamdy said, stressing the urgent need to prevent a humanitarian crisis later in the year, while bridging efforts towards development and socio-economic interventions.“Sri Lanka’s once-strong healthcare system is now in jeopardy, livelihoods are suffering and the most vulnerable are facing the greatest impact.
Sri Lanka will experience further deterioration of food security – UN FAO Report - - Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka will experience further deterioration of food security – UN FAO Report
COLOMBO (News 1st); A report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations & the World Food Program has revealed that Sri Lanka will experience a further deterioration of food security over the next few months.“The domestic agricultural production and rising international prices, compounded by the ongoing economic crisis, are expected to increase acute food shortages and price inflation which in turn are likely to result in a further deterioration of food security over the next months,” it added.The FAO & WFP said that the country’s current account deficit has widened while its foreign exchange reserves have dwindled, resulting in a dramatic currency devaluation, rising food prices and food shortages.The report in addition noted that the current economic crisis is increasingly affecting unemployment, and household incomes, complicating access to essential items.Rising costs of food, fuel and imported commodities combined with supply chain disruptions and a weakening exchange rate are expected to drive inflation higher in 2022, while stressing that availability of food in the outlook period is likely to decrease.The report went on to note that the harvest of the country’s main staple, “Maha” paddy crop, is estimated at a below-average level, mainly due to a ban on the import of chemical fertilizers and pesticides imposed by the authorities between April and November 2021.Therefore, Sri Lanka will increasingly rely on imports to cover domestic needs, but the ability to purchase imported supplies will be constrained by a further depreciation of the local currency.Reduced income and increased food prices affect households’ ability to afford sufficient and adequate food, said the report.Recommendations:The
Sri Lanka’s Impending Food Disaster: The Facts - - Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s Impending Food Disaster: The Facts
COLOMBO (News 1st); The future of food security in Sri Lanka remains a blur, while an impending shortage looms, with the pinch of the crisis already being felt by some in remote areas, surviving on jackfruit alone or on a handful of vegetables.Experts have warned since 2020 with regard to the food crisis that would eventually befall the island once the COVID-19 crisis ends, however decisions taken against expert opinions in 2021 with regard to the cultivation of the Maha season sped up the arrival of the crisis on Sri Lanka’s doorstep.Sri Lanka’s monthly rice consumption remains 200,000 MT, while annual rice consumption is 2.4 million MT.The cost of feeding 22 million people with rice, ever since the ancient days of glory of Sri Lanka being a self-sufficient nation, remains high, and a successful bureaucratic system was in function to grant lands full of paddy fields to farmers, to grant fertilizer to farmers and in return, the ability of farmers to sell their harvest to the Government for a beneficial rate, even with hard labor factored in.Let’s look at the paddy harvest during the past two years.Farmers had the ability to obtain a high paddy harvest of 5,121,000 MT during the 2019/2020 Maha season and the 2020 Yala season, while they were able to obtain a paddy harvest of 5,149,500 MT during the 2020/2021 Maha season and the 2021 Yala season.These harvests were obtained in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis, which plagued Sri Lanka for two years, and after an average of 600,000 Hectares of land was cultivated during the Maha season and over 400,000 Hectares of land was cultivated during the Yala season.The paddy harvest of the Maha season of 2019/2020 spanned over a land area of 663,000 hectares, with an average of 4.5
Ranil Wickremesinghe - 21A : Party Leaders agree that it should avoid provisions calling for a referendum - - Sri Lanka
21A : Party Leaders agree that it should avoid provisions calling for a referendum
COLOMBO (News 1st); Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said that the Party Leaders have arrived at a consensus with regard to the 21st Amendment to the Constitution.“It will be an amendment that will avoid any provision which will require a referendum,” he said.However, he said that will not be enough as the crisis worsens.Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the country is only at the beginning of the crisis, and the worst is still to come.“At the moment, there are no queues for petrol, but you don’t understand that I not only have to do the job of the Prime Minister, but of the firefighter,” he said adding he needs to look for at least USD 40 Million daily for payment of shipments.“We have run down the economy, we have state enterprises owning trillions of rupees to the banks, we have enterprises that are losing, we have projects that will not benefit Sri Lanka with no priority list,” he told a gathering on Friday (3) adding that agencies were using different credit lines for their requirements.He said the food supplies in Sri Lanka will last until September to October, as Sri Lanka did not have sufficient fertilizer for either the Yala or Maha seasons.“If we receive fertilizer for the next Maha Season, we will be self-sufficient by February next year,” he said.The Prime Minister said a time would come when people will not eat three meals a day but will have only two meals per day.He said the government is in talks with friendly nations for assistance, adding that Sri Lanka cannot get through this year alone.“We need a few billion dollars from outside, otherwise this country cannot survive. We need to get that money.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa - Mahinda Rajapaksa - Our demands remain the same – GotaGoGama Protestors -
Our demands remain the same – GotaGoGama Protestors
COLOMBO (News 1st); All groups involved in the protest opposite the President’s Office in Galle Face today (2) stated that there is no solution to the current crisis until the President steps down.The varying groups, which consisted of Black Cap Movement, Youth for Change, the Inter University Students Federation among others, emphasized that their demands remain the same in a joint press conference held today (2).Attorney-at-Law Manoj Nanayakkara stated that what took place at the Presidential Secretariat was staged, and the people struggle only has two main campaign slogans; President Gotabaya Rajapaksa must resign and the regime which accompanied former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa should resign.He said that the groups engaged in the struggle have not submitted any proposals, except for the call for the President to resign.“Anyone can submit proposals. However, no one has the right to do so in the name of the people’s struggle” Nanayakkara said.Meanwhile, Buddhi Prabodha Karunaratne of the Black Cap Movement said that the 11-point proposal handed over yesterday does not speak of the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, while pointing out that the place is called GotaGoGama, the village that wants the President gone.Activist Nalin Ranaweera pointed out that those who the proposals, and those who accepted must be ashamed of themselves, as the group did not even communicate with those engaged in the people’s protest.Lahiru Weerasekara, the National Organizer of Youth For Change said that the protestors would not submit proposals to the same person whom they want gone.“We saw how Mahinda Rajapaksa who was left helpless called for a meeting with the protestors.