CEB strike – Day 7: Talks fail, general public take to the street – another scam exposed!

CEB strike – Day 7: Talks fail, general public take to the street – another scam exposed!

Written by Lahiru Fernando

19 Sep, 2017 | 9:57 pm

The Ceylon Electricity Board employees continued with their strike action for the 7th day.

What happened to the talks between trade unions and the subject Minister?

They failed. And the Trade Unions are determined to continue this strike until a solution to their demands are given in writing.

The CEB chairman was given ten proposals carrying the signature of Labour Commissioner General. The proposals included a change in the salary scales and a 13% salary increment for all employees of all grades.

Will the proposals work?

Well, according to the Ministry of Power & Renewable Energy, there are “practical difficulties” in implementing certain proposals put forward by the trade unions.

“We hope that the Board of Directors of the CEB would pay attention to this situation and report on the actions that are to be taken.” said Sulakshana Jayawardena, Media Spokesperson – Minister of Power and Renewable Energy.

Meanwhile, the CEB Joint Trade Unions Alliance say arbitrary attempts made by the CEB Engineers’ Union to increase their salaries are unfair.

Public Outrage

There are several power outages caused by this ongoing strike. The general public, who have suffered the most in the matter, have begun to demonstrate and protest against the CEB employees.

A demonstration was staged for close to five and a half hours today (September 19) in the Diya Beduma area along the Girithale – Bakamuna main road.

Residents of Diyabeduma and surrounding villages staged the demonstration from 10 a.m. on Tuesday  citing that they have been severely inconvenienced owing to the breakdown of power for the past three days.

The increasing demand for electricity

The plans which were to be implemented to meet the increasing demand are continuing to be delayed.

Couple that up with the ongoing strike, we have a recipe for the rise in one too many issues.

So why is this delay?

There are problems with the tender process to award the 300 MW Combined Cycle power plant in Kerewalapitiya.

The third round in tender evaluations began yesterday (September 19). And at the evaluation, the Lakdanaw company offered the lowest price per-unit.

However, the five companies which were considered yesterday had not submitted the tender for the initial required equipment which are needed to activate the power plant with Liquefied Natural Gas.

The matter is pointed out, clearly, in the technical evaluation committee report.

It gets better…

Interestingly the company who did submit the tender for the initial equipment requirement, Samsung, was… rejected.

Why was an international tender in the caliber of Samsung rejected? – because certain facts were presented on a Compact Disk (CD).

While Samsung got rejected, other parties have raised questions on the tender submitted by Lakdanaw. And the interesting part is that the Ceylon Electricity Board owns a majority of shares of Lakdanaw.

How can the Ceylon Electricity Board Officials do a technical evaluation
of a tender, which is submitted by one of its own subsidiary companies?

Is this not a conflict of intrest?

There are more allegations – There have been attempts to sabotage the tender procedure.

Was this an attempt to award the tender to the Lakdanaw company?

Do not misinterpret this as an attempt to promote Samsung. Its not. We are not representing the Samsung company but they are the only company which submitted the minimum facilities.

The General public are well aware of the individuals
who set aside the greater good of the public
in pursuit of personal gains.

It would be foolish
to think that the public are unaware of the situation
and embark on an attempt to deceive them.

We are ready to continuously expose details
on this process to acquire a more beneficial tender
for the general public of Sri Lanka.

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