Written by Zulfick Farzan
27 Jan, 2023 | 3:49 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st) – Sri Lanka's Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekera said that the officials from the Ministry of Power and Energy who attended a recent meeting with the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka had disclosed that they were pressurized to sign two documents that they did not agree do.
The Minister tweeted on Friday (27) that the officials were pressurized by two members of the Human Rights Commission, and that they were threatened with jail sentences.
On Wednesday (25), the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka revealed that all the necessary stakeholders including Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) agreed to provide uninterrupted power supply during the advanced level examination period until February 17th.
However, despite the statement from the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, power outages were experienced on Wednesday (25) and Thursday (26).
The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka on Friday (27) said it will elaborate facts to the Supreme Court against officials including the Chairman of the Ceylon Electricity Board and the Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Energy for breaching an agreement by suspending the supply of power.
Speaking further, an official from the HRCS said it has been observed that the CEB and the Ministry of Power and Energy are operating arbitrarily, going against the laws of the land.
Meanwhile, the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka directing a letter to the Chairman of the HRCSL said that it will not approve power outages occurring during the period between the 26th of January and 17th of February.
The Human Rights Commission emphasized that if the CEB does not act according to the directive, the HRCSL has the ability to act according to Section 21 of the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission Act No. 21 of 1996.
Commissioner of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka Dr. M.H. Nimal Karunasiri said that the agreement twas reached to ensure that no power outages will take place even after the Advanced Level examination.
He said that legal action will be instituted against the parties that violated this documented agreement.
"The Chairman and Officials of the Public Utilities Commission and the CEB agreed that there will be no 2-hour power outages during the period of the Advanced Level Examination. This does not only apply to the period when the examination is taking place, but for the entire duration of the examination. They agreed there will be no power outage so that the students can study for the examination," he elaborated.
He said that since this directive was violated, the Human Rights Commission can report the matter to the Supreme Court on the basis that a directive was disregarded.
"There is no use in having a Human Rights Commission, if these directives cannot be respected," he noted.
However, Minister Kanchana Wijesekera tweeted that the officials from the Ministry of Power and Energy have already consulted legal opinions on the steps to be taken against the Human Rights Commission members, and have submitted in writing on the events that had taken place.
The Minister said he informed the President of these developments on Thursday (26) and will inform the Constitutional council in writing as well.
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