Cabinet explodes following submission of fuel crisis report

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By 2017-11-15

BY CHAMARA AMARASURIYA

Subsequent to the handing over of the Cabinet Sub-committee report of the committee appointed to inquire into the fuel crisis to President Maithripala Sirisena at the Cabinet Meeting held yesterday (14), the Cabinet meeting turned into a heated situation, it was told to Ceylon Today.

The reason for this heated situation was the statement made by Minister of Petroleum Resources Development Arjuna Ranatunga at a media briefing that two Ministers had tried to influence him to accept the ship that brought sub-standard fuel......to this country and bring the ship into the country.

Three former Ministers representing the Cabinet including Ministers Chandima Weerakkody, Anura Priyadharshana Yapa and Susil Premajayantha as well as Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera had told the media that the heated situation had arisen when an effort was made to influence Minister Ranatunga to reveal the names of the relevant Ministers.

In the face of the questioning of Minister Ranatunga by these four Ministers, the Cabinet meeting had blown up with a heated exchange of words.

In reply to the Ministers who were questioning him, the Minister Ranatunga had told them that in the face of such questioning he had never revealed such names to the media.

When Ceylon Today inquired about this incident from a Cabinet Minister, he responded by saying that it had been stated in the report of the sub-committee that was handed over to the President by the Ministers of the Committee that as a result of not accepting a fuel tanker with sub-standard fuel imported by the Lanka IOC such a large shortage of petrol within the country could not have occurred.

This report which contains six pages had been handed over to President Maithripala Sirisena by the Chairman of the Ministerial Sub-Committee, Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama.

The Cabinet Minister who spoke to us expressing his views said that not storing adequate stocks of fuel required by the country properly was another reason for this fuel crisis and as a result, the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation should be held responsible for the situation that occurred. This he said had been stated in the report as well.

This Minister said further that the President had informed the Cabinet to take future action based on this report.

The members of the ministerial sub-committee were Ministers Arjuna Ranatunga, Anura Priyadharshana Yapa and Patali Champika Ranawaka.

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