Colombo, April 24 (NIA) – Transport services throughout Sri Lanka was disrupted on Monday as trade unions from the local petroleum sector launched an island wide strike against the government’s inaction to address certain issues.
Seven trade unions attached to the state owned Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) launched the strike starting Sunday midnight, over certain issues including the move to sign a pact with India regarding the oil tanks in the Eastern port city of Trincomalee.
The union wants the government to stop what it sees as entering into a partnership with the Indian Oil Company to develop disused World War II era storage tanks in Trincomalee.
Long queues lined up outside petrol pumps on Monday over worries of a petroleum shortage as the CPC Trade Union Collective workers threatened to cripple the entire transportation sector in the country as a result of the strike.
Petroleum Minister Chandima Weerakkody said on Monday that he would be holding discussions with the Trade Union activists and dismissed concerns that the strike would cause a fuel shortage.
Meanwhile the Lanka Indian Oil Company (LIOC) said its operations were continuing despite the strike launched by Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC). LIOC said that if the CPC is unable to provide fuel to the LIOC petrol sheds it will look to obtain the oil from the Trincomalee storage facility.