The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) raised concerns on the uncertainty of when Sri Lanka would receive the next fuel shipment noting that the delay has adversely affected the public, the country’s administration and social stability.
BASL observed that there has not been any explanation as to the why the fuel reserves which were available were not managed in an effective manner given the uncertainty of the next fuel shipment’s arrival.
“The BASL is alarmed at the failure of the Government to provide timely, accurate and reliable information to the public of the situation in respect to the fuel supply which affects every aspect of their daily lives,” BASL noted adding that fuel queues have resulted in unrest and violence and led to mistrust among different sections of the community.
They noted that there have been chaotic incidents reported at fuel stations and clashes between people and law enforcement while the number of people who have died whilst waiting in queues continues to rise.
Commenting on reports of the black market selling fuel at excessive prices, BASL stated the Government has failed to put in place a proper mechanism to ensure fair and equitable distribution of fuel to the people.
“Long lines of empty gas cylinders can be seen on roadsides in anticipation of a shipment of gas which is said to arrive in the first week of July. Fuel shortages are threatening every aspect of the economy including food production and distribution, adversely impacting Sri Lanka’s exports which are vital at this time, and even having a negative impact on the administration of justice,” BASL stated.
Thereby the BASL called upon the Government to immediately provide timely and adequate information to the public as to its plans in respect of ensuring the continuous supply of fuel in the short term, to present to the public a road map on its plans to extricate the country from the fuel crisis and immediately devise after proper consultation with relevant stakeholders an effective plan to ensure the fair and equitable distribution of fuel to the people taking into account the need to ensure public transportation and essential services are not hindered.