Petroleum trade unions blame the government for this crisis. It has not kept buffer stocks and has given into the wishes of Lanka IOC company, they charge. An order by that company had arrived, but the oil had been found to be substandard. The first testing of samples proved that and the normal procedure is to do a second testing. However, a friend of petroleum minister Arjuna Ranatunga, has rejected the consignment, in order to import a fresh stock under emergency procurements.
The rejected order has been supplied by France’s TOTAL company, which refuses to accept it back without doing a second sample testing. friend of petroleum minister has demanded a bribe from the company to carry out a second testing, but it has refused. He has planned to import under emergency procurements in order to buy oil at a higher price and pocket a bigger commission.
These racketeers do not heed the country or its people, and what they do is fish in troubled waters for personal gains. There was the chance to reject the consignment after doing a second testing. But, Arjuna’s friend denied that, leading to a worsening of the fuel crisis.