Power restored in crisis-hit Sri Lanka

i24NEWS - Reuters

2 min read
A woman with a child sits outside her house during a power cut in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on March 30, 2022.
Ishara S. KODIKARA / AFPA woman with a child sits outside her house during a power cut in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on March 30, 2022.

'Situation is largely back to normal. All power plants are functional, and the engineers are back at work'

Striking power sector workers returned to work in Sri Lanka on Thursday after the president promised to listen to their concerns.

This ended widespread blackouts and brought respite to an economy hit by its biggest crisis in decades.

Roughly 900 out of 1,100 engineers of the state-run Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) went on strike at midnight, stalling operations at eight hydropower plants and triggering power cuts nationwide.

The CEB Engineers' Union is opposed to government plans to amend power sector legislation, including plans to remove restrictions on competitive bidding for renewable power projects.

Engineers resumed their duties after receiving a promise from President Gotabaya Rajapaksa that their concerns would be considered in new legislation that was debated in parliament on Thursday, a union leader said.

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"Situation is largely back to normal. All power plants are functional, and the engineers are back at work," the union's Joint Secretary Dhammika Wimalaratne told Reuters.

Sri Lanka's 22 million people are already suffering the country's most serious financial turmoil in seven decades, with severe shortages of fuel, medicines and other essentials amid record inflation and a devaluation of its currency.

Overall, the UN estimates that in total, nearly 5.7 million people need immediate life-saving assistance.

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