TheIsland: CEB engineers refuse to cooperate with PUCSL

By Rathindra Kuruwita

The Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers’ Union (CEBEU) had called off its work-to-rule campaign but it would not cooperate with the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), CEBEU President Saumya Kumarawadu told The Island yesterday.

The CEBEU Executive Committee that met this week decided to call off the work-to-rule campaign after the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka had approved the CEB’s base case plan ‘subject to the accommodation of already Cabinet approved “government to government power plants” and the “latest government ‘policy’.

“However, we will not cooperate with the PUCSL because we feel that some of the officials there are unprofessional and are attempting to thwart what the CEB is trying to do. When there are power cuts you will see the results of their action. The tenure of the PUCSL is to end shortly. We hope they appoint independent and professional individuals the next time.”The CEBEU has been demanding the removal of the PUCSL Director General, Damitha Kumarasinghe since May.

Executive Director of Campaign for Free and Fair Elections Keerthi Tennakoon criticised the CEBEU’s attempts to remove Kumarasinghe from his post.

“PUCSL is the regulator of the energy sector. The CEBEU, which is a part of the sector, can’t threaten the government to get rid of Kumarasinghe. One reason is that PUCSL is an independent commission and if a trade union can get its members fired, that will give a bad precedence. The other reason is that neither the President nor the Prime Minister can remove Kumarasinghe, only the PUCSL commissioners can remove him.”

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