40 filling stations closed due to unrest

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The Sri Lanka Petroleum Private Tanker Owners’ Association (SLPPTOA) said, 40 filling stations Island wide had been forced to close as a result of protests and unruly behaviour by some groups.

Vice President, SLPPTOA, Kusum Sandanayake said, if Police and other responsible authorities do not provide adequate protection to fuel stations, many would have to close down soon.

He said there have been reports of some individuals intimidating filling station employees to obtain fuel. Following this situation, all refuelling orders for these filling stations have been cancelled.

He also highlighted that fuel dealers and distributors will find it difficult to work in this manner because the demand is much higher than in previous days. He said that the same vehicle may visit the filling station multiple times to obtain fuel, exacerbating the fuel shortage.

Sandanayake said there should be a mechanism to detect repeat visits of these vehicles but could be impractical in some instances, however, it was the only option given the current circumstances.

He also said that intimidation and unruly behaviour may result in further consequences in the future.

Meanwhile, five assaults on filling station employees were reported yesterday (25). The number of filling stations that could close in the coming days is likely to increase if the public does not support fuel distribution in a peaceful manner, he said.

By Thameenah Razeek