The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) has warned that it would seek legal action if the relevant authorities fail to provide an uninterrupted power supply while the 2022 G.C.E. Advanced Level is taking place.

In a press release, the human rights body vowed to present facts to the Supreme Court if the power cuts are imposed during the exam month (from January 23 to February 17), pursuant to the provisions of Article 21 of the HRCSL Act No. 21 of 1996, which states that every offence of contempt committed against or in disrespect of, the authority of the commission is punishable by the Supreme Court.

On Wednesday evening (Jan. 25), the HRCSL convened an urgent meeting with the top officials of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) and the Ministry of Power & Energy, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), during which an agreement was reached not to impose power cuts during this period in order to minimize the inconvenience caused to the students sitting for the exam.

At this meeting, the PUCSL, together with the HRCSL, proposed to the CPC that the required fuel be provided to the CEB in order to provide an uninterrupted supply of electricity during the exam month.

Thus, PUCSL advised the CEB to prioritise the securing of funds needed for this purpose when the proposed electricity tariff revision is implemented in the near future.

Accordingly, all stakeholders agreed that the relevant funds would be paid within 60 days. The Ministry of Power and Energy was urged to intervene in the matter and provide the necessary coordination required for this consensus.

However, despite the undertaking given at the meeting called by the human rights body, it was reported that the daily power cuts were imposed as per usual since last night.

Meanwhile, CEB chairman Nalinda Illangakoon is of the view that an additional sum of LKR 4.1 billion is required to provide an uninterrupted supply of power during the Advanced Level exam. Speaking on the matter, he mentioned that the daily power interruptions will have to continue unless this additional cost is covered.

Source –