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India sends two ship loads of petrol to Lanka amidst demand that Trincomalee Oil tank farms should not be leased to India

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament that two ships carrying petroleum products would come from India and reach Colombo port on November Ninth.  The shipments will help to relieve the acute petrol shortage the island nation has been facing for the past one week the prime minister said

He told the Sri Lankan Parliament that President Sri Sena and I discussed the issue of petrol shortage with Indian High Commissioner and he promised us that the two ships would be here by Nov. 09.

The Prime Minister was responding to the criticism of a section of the opposition who blamed the Indian oil corporation for not sending in the supplies in time. Indian Oil Corporation has a tie up with Ceylon Petroleum Corporation.

Referring to the demand of the Opposition the Prime minister recalled that way back in 2003, the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation had found that it could not repair the Trincomalee oil tank farm. Indian companies expressed their willingness to do that. 

There were also charges by a section of the opposition against leasing the oil tank farm to India in 2003. If it had been a wrong move, the successive governments after 2003 could have rectified it, the PM said. "Why didnít you do so? We wonít heed the calls for shutting down IOC operations here." the prime minister asserted.

The Prime Minister was obviously referring to the demand by the supporters of former President Mahinda Rajapakshe that oil tank farms should not be given to India.

During the course of the discussions in the Parliament on the petroleum crisis, JVP Leader Dissanayake said there is a procedure to be followed when fuel imports are resorted to from foreign countries. He alleged that five shipments of petrol have been imported in contravention of the procedure. In the process the country has suffered a massive loss and he estimated it at around forty million US Dollars

The Trincomalee oil tanks were given to a Indian Oil Company. Our party was opposed to move. Our concerns were not heeded. Now you see the result, the country is facing a severe shortage of petrol, he said.


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