Tue, 16 Apr 2024 Today's Paper

Friday’s darkness at noon

9 December 2021 01:03 am - 1     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

A A A

Hard on the heels of the ongoing COVID-19 viral infection, the fertilizer dilemma, the shipload of contaminated Chinese fertilizer, the controversy surrounding the mysterious gas-linked explosions reported from several parts of the country on a daily basis since November came the sudden five-hour Island-wide power outage. The government alleged was sabotage while the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) Engineers Union claimed it was a natural occurrence resulting from a transmission failure.


The power cut also affected several businesses and restaurants, many of which were compelled to shut their doors earlier than scheduled. Telephone lines and internet facilities were down with a large number of households having to endure a disruption to the water supply as well while powerless traffic lights caused bedlam on the roads. 


The CID has launched investigations to ascertain whether the countrywide power failure was the result of sabotage as the government claims or triggered by a technical or mechanical malfunctioning in the transmission system at the Norochocholai Coal Power Plant. CEB General Manager M.R. Ranatunga told the media that he suspected sabotage because CEB engineers had deliberately prolonged the restoration work. The allegations have been rejected by the unions. “These claims are baseless and we reject them,” CEBEU Joint Secretary Dhammika Wimalaratne said. “We did our best to restore power as soon as possible.”


Compounding the crises even further, the Government Nursing Officers’ Association (GNOA) also took trade union action on Wednesday. “We will continue to engage in our work but will not release data with regard to Covid-19 or other diseases because of the government’s failure to meet our demands,” GNOA President Saman Ratnapriya said. “This bound to cause a problem when it comes to sending reports to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and in making future provisions.”


Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTU) General Secretary Joseph Stalin also warned the education authorities that they would resume trade union action if the salary increase promised to teachers was not paid next month.


Meanwhile, last Friday, the first weekend of the Christmas shopping season, a week after the much-advertised sales oriented ‘black Friday’, Sri Lankans experienced an actual ‘black Friday’ on December 3 with several untoward incidents taking place. It began with the sad news of the torture and killing of Sri Lankan factory manager Priyantha Kumara Diyawadana -- a resident of Ganemulla in Gampaha, by a mob of factory workers at Sialkot in Pakistan -- prompting Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to say, this horrific attack had brought shame on his country. He condemned the killing and said he was personally overseeing the investigations and that those guilty would be punished. “The horrific vigilante attack on a factory in Sialkot and the burning alive of the Sri Lankan manager is a day of shame for Pakistan,” he tweeted.


In addition to the above and the unannounced power cut and the resultant uncertainty and gloom hovering over the entire country; it was on Friday that the health authorities detected the first Omicron-infected patient in the country and the day on which the government directed the country’s two gas companies – LITRO and LAUGFS -- to suspend gas distribution until safety concerns were addressed.


Why did it have to take more than 80 explosions to do so? Would it not have been easier to withdraw gas cylinders in an emergency if they had carried batch numbers? The communiqué released by the State Minister of Consumer Protection, Lasantha Alagiyawanna said cylinders would be released for distribution only if the gas content consisted of a 14 per cent concentration of Ethanethiol, commonly known as ethyl mercaptan, which gives a distinct odour. At least a dozen householders are reported to have suffered cut and burn injuries creating a fear psychosis among users with many being forced to look for alternatives such as firewood and kerosene for their cooking purposes.


Be that as it may, the foolhardy and the imprudent statements made in Parliament by government members, such as for example that ‘gas is an explosive substance or that the increasing number of gas explosions is a common feature when more people are using gas or that there had been 233 gas explosions in the country since 2015’. These surreptitious attempts to point fingers at others and belittle or trivialize the current spate of explosions are of little or no help to stressed-out consumers, who are undergoing enough and more hardships. 


Empty rhetoric laced with gobbledygook or double-speak has resulted in people losing confidence in the government, which has too much on its plate already, especially that of the rapidly dwindling foreign exchange reserves.


Order Gifts and Flowers to Sri Lanka. See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Kids Toys, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,Astrology, Courier/Delivery, Medicine Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka

  Comments - 1

Order Gifts and Flowers to Sri Lanka. See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Kids Toys, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,Astrology, Courier/Delivery, Medicine Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka
  • drvajra sharma Thursday, 09 December 2021 07:08 PM

    Criminals are in power!


Add comment

Comments will be edited (grammar, spelling and slang) and authorized at the discretion of Daily Mirror online. The website also has the right not to publish selected comments.

Reply To:

Name - Reply Comment





Order Gifts and Flowers to Sri Lanka. See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Kids Toys, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,Astrology, Courier/Delivery, Medicine Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka

MIRROR CRICKET

More