The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka says legal action will be taken against trade union members who carry out subversive activities.
Addressing a media briefing today, Chairman of the PUCSL Janaka Ratnayake noted that any trade union action that does not disrupt the supply of electricity will be allowed.
Ratnayake said the Chairman of the Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers’ Union said a 24-hour blackout had been planned by the union.
Chairman Ratnayake said making such statements were illegal since trade unions are not authorized to plan blackouts.
He said such statements were derogatory and could not be issued when engaging in essential services.
Ratnayake added that trade unions claimed to have engaged in a telephone conversation with the President while certain conditions were reached.
He said the statement made by the Engineers’ Union regarding a blackout if the conditions were not met went against the Essential Services act.
He said if found guilty, members of the CEB Engineers’ Union could face a five-year prison sentence and fines.
He requested the unions to refrain from taking such actions warning that legal action would be taken if such activities are carried out.
PUCSL Chairman Janaka Ratnayake further added the Public Utilities Commission had not given permission for the power cuts that were imposed in many parts of the island this morning adding the disruptions were illegal.
He further stated they have received a written complaint from the Irrigation Department regarding the sabotage that had taken place in connection with several reservoirs in the island.
Ratnayake said certain areas of the island experienced a four-hour power cut between 4am and to 8am, although the PUCSL approved only two-hours-and-15-minutes power cuts.
He noted such disruptions were illegal. Janaka Ratnayake added certain individuals had sabotaged the generation of hydro power in the Randenigala, Rantembe and the Senanayake reservoirs.
The Chairman said that due to such actions, 20,000 acres of land used for cultivation alongside the Minipe Canal failed to receive water for agricultural activities.
Chairman Ratnayake said the hydropower plants had been shut down without notifying the Irrigation Department in violation of the accepted procedure.