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DateLine Wednesday, 13 June 2007

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Welcome clarification on fuel

The public is certain to heave a huge, collective sigh of relief on learning that the State never intended to restrict the supply of fuel to the country’s consumers. Earlier, some sections of the media gave wide publicity to a rumour that fuel rationing was on the cards.

Naturally, this piece of misinformation would have generated considerable alarm in the minds of the public because the lot of the people is already unbearable from the viewpoint of living costs.

Fuel restrictions would only aggravate this cost of living crisis by rendering most consumer items well out of reach of the average consumer.

Therefore, the scotching of the fuel ration rumour by the State is most timely and hugely welcome.

However, considering the tremendous volatility of world oil prices, the Government may be compelled to revise present oil prices, for, the financial viability of State institutions, such as the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and the rising recurrent expenditure of the State, need to be strongly considered.

However, here too we caution maximum restraint because of the unbearability of the cost of living burden. Every effort must be made by the State to lighten this burden and it is for this reason that we welcome the State’s denial of the fuel ration rumour.

Equally relieving is the news that the State is exploring the possibility of introducing alternative energy sources to alleviate the oil burden. This is a long overdue venture and we hope it would meet with hundred percent success.

The news is that a Cabinet Sub Committee proposal to look into the possibility of processing oil from material such as plastic, polythene and tyres, has met with Cabinet approval and we hope the search for alternative sources of energy would get underway in earnest. Likewise, the search for oil in Sri Lanka must be quickened.

Considering the unbearable consequences of high oil prices, we hope this search would be conducted enthusiastically and systematically. Nothing should be left to chance nor should those assigned this task allow themselves to fall victim to the habitual lassitude and atrophy observable in many a public enterprise.

We call for a swift, energetic and sustained search for these alternative sources of energy as well as oil in Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile, we wonder what has become of Sri Lanka’s on-and-off desire to go in for alternative power sources, such as solar, wind and ocean energy, which on many occasions was deliberated on and even took the form of concrete proposals?

It is all too evident, that we are bent on taking what we consider is the easy way out - that is, depend on oil imports with all its unpleasant consequences.

We cannot afford to adopt this laid back approach to meeting our power and energy needs. We need a new mindset and attitude and we hope these changes are forthcoming.

Unity in diversity

Much as one loves Dr Colvin R de Silva, this is typical of the wholly theoretical approach of the man. As noted, the provision really benefited the rural peasantry rather than the minorities, but reality has never stood in the way of the pronouncements, sincere or otherwise, of politicians.

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‘Stemming the Crime Wave: The Role of Law and Society’

It is necessary, at the outset to define society to give justice to the issue discussed. Society should be defined to include our society, society in other countries, and the international community. What happen in society in other countries and at the international level have an impact on our society.

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