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Sri Lanka former PM calls for pause to power cuts till advanced level exams end

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ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has called for a postponement of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB)’s scheduled power cuts until the end of the ongoing GCE advanced level examinations on March 05.

“These power outages are going to be a huge problem to students taking their advanced levels, especially because of the Z score system. Also, because the outages occur at different times in different areas, they can file a fundamental rights petition,” said Wickremesinghe.

Wickremesinghe did not explain how to run thermal generators without fuel. The CEB had asked for 7 hours of power cuts due to a 750MW deficit and still used 10.6 GigaWatts hours of water, instead of the 5GWh ceiling needed to conserve water for March and April.

The former prime minister and sole MP of the opposition United National Party (UNP) told parliament on Tuesday (23) that the government ought to consider delaying the planned outages until at least March 05 when the exams are scheduled to end.

Education Minister Dinesh Gunawardena responded that discussions in this regard were held Monday (22) evening with the CEB, the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) and the Commissioner General of Examinations.

The discussions had focused on a possible solution to the issue, he said.

Sri Lanka is in the midst of a power crisis with scheduled outages spanning over four hours a day as of Tuesday (23). A forex crisis triggered by excessive money printing has led to a fuel shortage which has brought about the power crisis as a result of insufficient fuel for thermal power generation. Water levels in reservoirs used for hydro power generation have also receded, worsening the crisis. (Colombo/Feb23/2022)

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