About 900 of about 1,100 engineers from Ceylon Electric Board (CEB), Sri Lanka’s main electricity company, have gone on strike, suspending operations at eight hydroelectric plants that produce about 1,000 megawatts of electricity.
Cars queued up to buy diesel fuel due to fuel shortages across Sri Lanka. (Photo: Reuters)
Sri Lanka’s 22 million people are suffering from the country’s most severe financial turmoil in seven decades, with fuel, medicine and other essentials in severe shortages amid the crisis. Inflation hit record highs and the local currency depreciated.
DHL delivery trucks wait for fuel in Colombo, Sri Lanka, June 8, 2022. (Photo: Reuters)
In an effort to prevent the CEB Union of Engineers from striking, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa issued an announcement on the evening of June 8 (local time), declaring the supply of electricity an essential service. and a legal directive that requires engineers to return to work.
People in Colombo, Sri Lanka wait in long lines to buy gas cylinders for cooking, June 1, 2022. (Photo: Reuters)
“President Rajapaksa phoned the union president last night (June 8) and made an appeal to not let the entire power grid go down. So we are working to ensure hospitals and other essential services have electricity,” union general secretary Eranga Kudahewa told Reuters news agency. “But the strike will continue.”
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