27 July, 2021

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Lights Out! – Some Questions To Ranawaka Arachchige Patali Champika Ranawaka

By Padraig Colman

Padraig Colman

What can we do to improve the standard of customer service in Sri Lanka? While big issues like press freedom, the 18th Amendment, 13th Amendment are clearly important , can we little people make a difference to ordinary life without going to the barricades?

I have some questions I would like to put to the  Minister of Power.

Why do my lights keep going off every few minutes?

I could understand why power cuts happened during the drought. I can understand it when excessive rain or wind brings down overhead power cables. I am very tolerant and patient. I am willing to accept that living in a beautiful but remote place has its disadvantages.

We always have a good stock of candles. Torches and rechargeable lamps are placed at strategic intervals around the house. Generally speaking, we are philosophical about power cuts. Years of experience of power cuts means that  our expletives have become  quite mild when we are suddenly plunged into darkness and we fall over the cat.

The kind of power cuts we are getting now are quite different. They are usually quite short in duration but happen many, many times throughout the day and night. This means that the rechargeable lamps are not particularly useful. There is often not enough electricity during the day to charge them and they use up what is charged because they light up during the night when we are asleep.

Life support

I do not know how people with serious illnesses cope with this erratic supply of electricity. The domestic disruption we encounter may not be so great in the cosmic scheme of things but do we not have the right to get a decent service when we pay our bills promptly?

As a paying customer, I would like to sit at my computer at whatever time I choose and earn my livelihood, manage my finances through internet banking …

**!@#$!%!!***

I was just interrupted AGAIN!!!!!

…as I was saying- it would be nice to watch DVDs when we choose not when the CEB decides. We are customers, we pay our bills promptly. We want our freedom!

Can I sue?

I recently acquired a new refrigerator at great expense and considerable time and effort (more about that in a future Gripe Corner). The poor thing is doing its best but it is making some extremely distressed noises as a result of being constantly  switched on and off according to the whims of CEB. It is an established fact that such treatment is bad for electrical equipment.

My computer is also suffering because of these constant interruptions. However, disciplined I  try to be in saving my work, valuable items have been lost irretrievably because of CEB’s unreliability. My USP should allow me fifteen minutes to save documents and close down in an orderly fashion but the battery must have become drained because of the frequency of the power cuts and my PC shuts off instantaneously.

Compensation would be in order.

Why do the lights go dim from 18.30 to 21.00 every day?

For many years now, it has been impossible between 18.30 and  21.00 to roast a chicken or bake bread or make a pizza. I cannot work on the computer because it switches itself off. Why is the electricity supply so weak at those times – every day?

FU King Kustomer

When I  visit my local CEB office, I see many signs telling employees that “The Customer Is King”.  I’m afraid they don’t make me feel very regal. The mysterious FU Charge on my monthly bill seems more to the pint. They seem to be saying FU to the customer by putting up prices all the time and reducing the quality of service.

I have just received my latest CEB bill. As is my normal practice, I have paid it online immediately I received it from the hand of the meter reader.  I notice that the FU Charge is almost 30% of the total bill. Can the Hon. Minister tell me: What is the FU Charge and how is it calculated? Can he give me some information to take to my local office to help me get some value for my money?

CEB and ease of doing business

Whatever about the irritation and inconvenience to individual consumers, think about the drastic effect on the Sri Lankan economy as a whole.

The World Bank places Sri Lanka at number 81 (out of 185) on its leagues of Ease of Doing Business for 2013. This is an improvement of 15 places on its ranking for 2012. However, ”Getting Electricity” has shown no improvement  –  takes 67 calendar days for a new business in Colombo to get electricity. Other observers have highlighted the unreliability of the electricity supply once acquired. Nearly 75 percent of urban manufacturing firms in Sri Lanka to own a generator, a significantly higher proportion than competitor countries such as China (27 percent). Generators cost the equivalent of 12 percent of their fixed assets absorbing resources that could otherwise be invested productively in their core business.

Answers please Mr Minister!

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Latest comments

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    Miinister suggests a number of steps

    1. Try doing a Bodhi Pooja. If one doesnt work repeat on a daily basis.
    2. This may be due to imperialist forces. Most probably the UN, US, UK, EU. Try doing a stayagraha outside their offices.
    3. If none of the above work contact the Bodu Bala Sena. They will exorcise any evil spirit dead or alive.

    Hope this was helpful. May the blessings of the Triple Gem be on you.
    Wonder of Asia

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    I believe that the regular power interruptions are due to erratic scheduling of minor repairs and maintenance, where the officers in charge maintain a very high level of cynicism and contempt for ordinary citizens’ rights.

    They could not care less about refrigerators breaking down, computers blinking off, not being able to watch your favourite teledrama or indeed if you happen to be on life support, that the machine stops the ventilator or heart-lung machine.

    In developed countries, officials are compelled by quality improvement benchmarks and targets, to strive for good customer service and amiable customer relations. I suppose that in Sri Lanka, merit and hard work do not pay. Instead, good connections, influence and under the table deals do pay.

    • 0
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      I would honestly like a simple explanation from CEB. You say, Lasantha, “I believe that the regular power interruptions are due to erratic scheduling of minor repairs and maintenance”. I don’t think it can be that. As a typical specimen – this morning, between 5.30 a.m. an 12.30 p.m, there were SEVEN powercuts of brief duration.

      Can anyone give a technical explanation for that?

  • 0
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    Hi, everybody
    I am living and working in State of Qatar for last seven years and believe me only once power got interrupted during this period. That’s also for a short time.

    • 0
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      When we lived in Ireland we only had one power cut even though we lived in a remote rural area. We saw the cut coming. We watched as some eejit in a tractor drove in slow motion without looking towards an overhead cable. The ESB fixed it very quickly.

      • 0
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        Padraig, Power is interrupted and requested to be used sparingly for the masses only. But if you visit Fort area at the amount, the amounts spent to Light the Race Track and the power wasted will be collosal. This is development a’ la Carte MR.

    • 0
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      I lived in two caribbean Islands for three years. Their only foreign exchange is Tourism, banana and some sand.
      For the whole three years the only power cuts I witnessed( which were fixed very fast) was during a hurricane or a thunderstrom.Not more than three or four occassions and got power back in a couple of hours.All roads are well lit wth cable TV (All american/British/Canadian and local) channels. Many US/European/Canadian medical students are enrolled and most of the teachers are from India.
      They eat mostly Yam, rice and chicken (curry, jerk or fried) and breakfast is mostly aki with salt fish. This is where Hussain Bolt and others coming from.
      Mostly indians and Africans brought by British and proud to say they are caribbeans. All education is in English, highly educated and well qualified.
      Most Americans and europeans live and settle there after retirement.

      Blessed people- both the government and the people.

  • 0
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    Latest news is tha Noracholai may shutdown for another one month. Decision to have a power plant was correct but Govt has slipped on the quality and technical side.

    • 0
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      Due to lack of adequate commission??????

  • 0
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    I live in the UK and reading this article makes me wonder whether the CEB is moving forward or backwords in this day & age! I am wondering when the Minister of Power Mr.Ranawake Arachchige Patali Champika Ranawaka intending to answer the questions asked or has his lights gone off too (Power Cut)!! Come Minister we are all eagerly awaiting YOUR answers & better service to your paying consumers! Do hurry up!!

    • 0
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      Thank you for your spirited response, Sherry.I understand that the minister’s media person has promised a response. Don’t hold your breath!

  • 0
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    Padraig Colman is under the conviction that he is such a precious specimen of the human species that he thinks the power cuts and other inconveniences of our little country should not apply to him.

    Clearly, people still think they are chosen to lead the …mankind.

    Go back to where you came from Colman, (as they say in your part of the world to coloured people!)

    AR

    • 0
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      What makes you superior to Mr Coleman? He is probably a foreign investor lured here by the fine talk of your govt. He provides valuable foreign exchange to our country and employment for our people when we are begging and borrowing from the IMF.

      Whereas you have only your racist mind set and vituperative language.

      • 0
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        Thank you, Safa. I am not a rich man so I did not come to Sri Lanka to invest large sums or to exploit the country to make huge gains for myself. I came here with honourable intentions. Unlike Mr Randeniya, I chose Sri Lanka as my home. Unlike him, I do not enjoy the comforts of a big city. I live a frugal existence eight hours drive from the fleshpots of Colombo. You are correct in saying that I provide local employment, albeit on a modest scale. With all due modesty, I can say that I am respected in my local community for the help I provide through the temple, the mosque and the church, and elders’ associations. Ironically, one of my projects has been to supply electricity to villagers who cannot afford it. I wonder whether it was worth bothering!

        • 0
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          Dear Mr Colman

          We are honoured to have you in our country. As we say Sri Lankans are friendly people except for a few. Nevertheless times are changing and we all need to be careful.

          Glad to hear about your efforts in helping the poor villagers. Indeed you are an example to our urban elite who think only about enjoying life in Colombo.

          I too am an Engineer and do what I can to help others and work for the future of our country. For obvious reasons I have to comment using a alias especially when we are critical of the Govt. Do not be deterred by negative comments as what we do is with sincere intention.

          Maybe your problem is localised due to poor installation and maintenence. As you have mentioned elsewhere you experienced as much as 7 interuptions within a few hours. Firstly you need to speak to the Electrical Superintendent of the CEB in your area. Speak to him regarding your problem and he will probably send a team to investigate and correct it. If he says it is due to the Bulk supply, you will need to take up the problem with the General Manager at the District CEB office. Hope this helps solve your problem. Normally the CEB is very cooperative, especially if you give them a diary or gift for Xmas.

        • 0
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          Hi Padraig
          What Randeniya said would be regarded as racist by any decent standards . If in England or Ireland some one says “go back to your own country” that is racially insensitive.Certainly unpleasant. In my whole 38 years in England ,not a single person has used that expression directed at me. As a criminal solicitor I have defended so called Racist Thugs. One of my first cases was that of three “white” youth allegedly killing an indian girl. None of the people I came into contact with in that case 27 years ago was racist towards me( although the anti nazi league were very critical of me representing “white ” youth. The reason I have used parenthesis is I do not like describing people as white black but simply used white to identify the apparent skin colour.
          Electricity is regarded as an essential part of life in some countries and most of us expect electricity to be continuously supplied. Especially heavy reliance on electronic equipment and refrigeration have made continuous electricity necessary. May be the whole human race needs to re-think it’s strategy .

    • 0
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      What kind of a idiot are you. Don’t you live in Sri Lanka? Does this not happen to you? You must be one of those parasites who are living off the people.
      One other question to the high and mighty minister would be why he built a coal power plant ( that woks 10% of the time) to produce a unit of power at 60+ rupees! Does he not know that Sri Lanka is full of clever accountants? Has he herd of a feasibility?
      Wears white and talks Buddhism . What a humbug!

      • 0
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        Eejit has chosen to live in Australia but thinks I because I have a pink skin do not have the right to comment about Sri Lanka despite the fact that I have lived here for over ten years and pay all my bills on time.

    • 0
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      Dear old friend Eejit Randy. I have missed you so much!

    • 0
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      “Go back to where you came from Colman, (as they say in your part of the world to coloured people!)”

      I’ve got a better idea , Eejit. Rather than going back where I came from, I will go to Sydney and live with you! “The power cuts and other inconveniences of our little country” will not bother me there. I’m sure you don’t suffer such “inconveniences” in Sydney.

      When was the last time you lived in this “little country” of Sri Lanka? Why don’t you come back and help to build the nation?

    • 0
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      Ajit.
      Is this the only reply you have…Please don’t be an As.Hole. You are another idiot who give all kinds of excuses for your benefit.
      As a legitimate customer who pays his bills on time Mr.Coleman has all the rights as to what is going on in the E. Dept.
      Why is your company pay you salary for you to stay home and play Ping Pong……while others are working hard for their pay.
      What is that PIN PADI Minister doing after charging some of the MOST HIGHEST RATES IN SOUTH ASIA FROM CONSUMER.

      Read my Comment- (six comments up,) about my Caribbean experience.

      What our Fu…ng politiciens did after Independence….other than ruined and destroying everything that British, Dutch and Portuguese planted.

      Look at the Galle Ramparts….Do you think even now our Monk…ys could build one like that what the Portuguese built in 1500’s, and now they charge Rs.100/00 even from a locals to see the small two room museam inside.

      Even to put up a two mile road these beggers going after foreign loans. Loans with commission to their pockets. What do they do with our Tax money….

      Also Europe, US and Canada have free education, health and food banks for needy. So don’t boast about our free education and health.

      What do our politikkas know other than while taking Pin Padi from us, Ruining and bankruptcing with huge (Billions of rupees) losses to the corporations they run, and then blaming Suddas, kotiyas and foreign conspiracy while begging for their foreign loans and aid year after year.

      This is your Ashchariya……my Tsunami Jackpot winner…. Wait for the next Tsunami.

      • 0
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        Thank you for your support Jayantha although I would not go along with everything you say.

        Don’t be too hard on Eejit. He obviously has mental health issues. He is giving me material for another article.

        I really don’t understand why he has taken such a violent dislike to me.

        New readers might be entertained by a brief history of my relationship with Mr Randeniya.

        I first encountered the fragrant Mr Randeniya at Lakbima News where he was forever sucking up to the then editor Rajpal Abeynayake.

        His first onslaught against me came in response to an article I published about dogs. He used this unlikely topic as a launch pad for his consistent theme that I should not be writing about Sri Lanka because I was not Sri Lankan.

        I extended an olive branch by trying to friend him on Facebook. He looked so lonely over there with not a single friend. He rebuffed my advances and continued to attack me even when he agreed with me.

        I wrote an article about the hypocrisy of NGOs to which his response was:”Keep teaching the locals some English, and along the way, keep collecting detailed cultural linguistic and other information that may be of future use for the global project. You obviously know how to manipulate us and mess with our minds.”

        I responded: “I have made it a rule never to use the words ‘the locals’ myself. If you are prepared to leave yourself open to accusations of condescension against your countrymen, so be it. I have read through the article again(always a pleasure) and cannot find anything in it to warrant your implication that I am being condescending to Sri Lankans. There is no mention of Sri Lanka or Sri Lankans in the article. Having read many of your own excellent articles, I would have thought you would have agreed with me about NGOs.”

        I see that now he does have one friend on Facebook. I am so happy for him!

        • 0
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          Thank you Mr.Colman,

          You know my mother always tell good about those Irish Nuns who taught them in the Convent she studied. All of them left Sri Lanka after swabasha rule came….same as the doctors and nurses. I herd India received them with both hands, and famous mother Theresa was one of them. That beautiful history is gone…so all my burgher, sinhalese and tamil friends all went abroad.

          Some say that mostly Islanders (people who live in small islands) seem to be insecure and I had no way of checking until I went to caribbean islands….and there I did not see that among them.

          So I can with practical exp. could disprove it.

          Then somebody say it is something to do with your blood and the long history your ancestors and the number of generations you are carried with like we have about 3000 some years history, compared to westeners which are much younger.(The longer the generation the weaker the strength of blood) I cannot prove this either.

          Now my third question is…..why some of our people think differently like this…….and I am still looking for answers. Hope you could do some research on this.

          I understood everything you wrote….but keep looking and analyse your self. Maybe one day you will get the answer. As for me I am still trying to educate myself on society and it’s behavoir.

  • 0
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    BTW I live in a neighbourhood inhabited by the rich and powerful. No powercuts for me.

    • 0
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      Thank you for your kind words and practical advice Safa.

  • 0
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    i guess leco maintain their areas much better. their salaries are much poorer than ceb guys. but they takes customer very seriously not like ceb don’t care attitude.

  • 0
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    When is the super Minister Patali Ranawake’s pet project to supply
    excess power to India coming to shape?

    Coleman looks like an imperialist hack inventing all sorts of cons to blacken the great achievements in the Power and Energy sector of this Sinhala Buddhist country under Ranawake’s able and enlightened stewardship. A former GM/CEB called him a magician-super accountant for turning out the CEB from bankruptcy to a goldmine. I call him a Mathemagician. Why does’nt the President give the man all the Ministries in the Cabinet so that, as was attributed to Mussolini, he can hold a Cabinet Meeting all by himself. If MR wants action and success Ranawake is the path to take.

    Senguttuvan

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      I recognise your irony (I think), Senguttuvan.

      Eejit Randeniya has often accused me in the past of being an imperialist, conveniently blanking out the fact that I am an Irish citizen who has chosen Sri Lanka as his home and intends to stay here. I have tried to explain to Eejit that Ireland suffered far worse at the hands of the British imperialist but I cannot make him understand.

      See my article:

      http://pcolman.wordpress.com/2011/07/21/ethnic-cleansing-in-ireland/

      • 0
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        Dear Mr. Colman,

        I apologise to you on behalf of Ajith which I wrote a comment (Six comments up)

        I am sad to see that there are still some nasty racists in our country who are always ready to blame others.
        I am also sad to see the pathetic situation of our country (now also with dengue menace which my son contracted…and I had to admit him to Durdens Hospital and the bill came to 67,000 rupees with no apparent in his or my fault)

        You know my father never said any bad about Britishers other than GOOD. He played cricket, Football(golie), Volleyball ( In the Bank team) and had travelled many parts in the Island with them and he never forget to remind the annual Christmas Party.

        Also my Grand Father was incharge of Coconut estate in Negombo under British.

        ONLY THING I NOTICED THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ME AND MY FATHER WAS …HE WAS ALWAYS ON TIME, MORE METHODICAL AND EVERYTHING WELL PLANNED AND EXECUTED…..WHICH I AM NOT.

        I think he learned all these in the school which were run by christian British priests and brothers.
        Take All the main roads, railway lines,electricity, water, gas,Trolly bus, tea, rubber, education, medicine, parliament, police, army, navy, airforce…..I could write a book of what they did and how good they were……and they never borrowed a penny from outside as we do now.

        Had we follow their path..we could have been another Europe by now but it never happened.

        All the best brains left the country and now left with thugs taken over the parliament.

        I could write more but sad to see what is going on in the country.

        Anyway I wish you Very Best in your stay…and Happy Christmas and New Year to you all.

  • 0
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    1) with the heavy rains for a couple of months and the reservoirs full . we still had to pay fuel surcharge WHY
    for these couple of months

    2) what is the real cost of converting Fuel into energy ?

    • 0
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      Raja,

      What I don’t understand is when it rains constant for four days the CEB say they have to open the sluice gate due to spilling of water and let water go. Then after three weeks they say the water is depleted. I don’t understand this.

      Why can’t they make the catchment area larger and preserve the rain water, or make the dam higher….

  • 0
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    1) with the heavy rains for a couple of months and the reservoirs full . we still had to pay fuel surcharge WHY
    for these couple of months

    2) what is the real cost of converting Fuel into energy ? an energy expert from UK was surprised at the amount of fuel surcharge

    • 0
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      What is the FU Charge which was 30% of my recent bill?

    • 0
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      Raja,

      What I don’t understand is when it rins constant for four or five days, they say the resevoyers are full and open the sluice gates. Then after about two weeks, they say the water is depleted.

      I don’t understand this……why can’t they make the catchment area and the resevoyer large and preserve more water……I don’t know why….

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    Mr Ranawaka’s main area of concern is plots and conspiracies. He is on eternal quest to uncover evil plots against SL. He lives inside a John Le Carre novel. His title of Minister of Power is only ceremonial. Just like prime minister of Sri Lanaka. So don’t bother him with these damned questions!

    • 0
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      Poor Ranawaka!
      Why doesn’t the President provide him with an assistant.
      After all there are about 100 odd cabinet Ministers, many of them doing almost nothing and having all the perks.
      The problem is almost of them are not capable but were chosen
      because they are sycophants to this family regime.

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        This will be helpful for an article I am writing on the peculiarities of governance in Sri Lanka.

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    Most people in Sri Lanka are switching on fewer lights and are yet burdened by the cost of electricity in terms of their income. Many people are shutting off their refrigerators at night. The cost of electricity is also a burden on industries.
    This is pathetic because the politicians are boasting of providing electricity to almost all homes in Sri Lanka, while the people can afford to light only one or two bulbs in their homes. The situation is no different from the days of the Kuppi lamps, kerosine lamps and Petromax lamps. The government continues to supply free electricity to many institutions, which if made to pay, will use less electricity and increase the income of the electricity board. How much does this free supply of electricity cost the Electricity Board ? The funny part is that officials from the Electricity Board arrive very promptly to investigate whether there is any fraud, when power consumption drops drastically in homes,.

    The minister should concentrate on the mandate he has been given, instead of poking his mischief making fingers and projecting his paranoid, visionless views on issues relating to inter-communal relations and progress towards power sharing. A man who cannot do what he has to do right, has no right to poke his fingers into matters that are already in a mess.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • 0
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      “Many people are shutting off their refrigerators at night. The cost of electricity is also a burden on industries.” Does that include Cargills? Every Cargills branch has a pool of water under the freezer in the mornings. Perhaps we can convert our gastroenteritis into bio-fuel!

      • 0
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        Have you given thought to “Solar” Energy for your Computer set up,
        Fridge etc. all within 200-300 watts. A Unit can be purchased
        for about Chf.300 in some leading Farm Shops in Switzerland, where
        I reside.

      • 0
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        @ DR RN and Padraig,
        What’s also disturbing is the CEB seems to shrug off the present and ever intensifying effects of climate change. The changing rainfall patterns/monsoons require a national dialoge on how we, as people living on this Island, will have to change our energy consumption patterns.

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          dialogue. But no leadership, discussion just ad hoc policy. When the reservoirs are full, we have successful energy plan, when they are half-full ,it’s not successful. When consumers have simple questions, as a above, they have no answers.

        • 0
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          Good point!

    • 0
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      Just came across this serendipitously while looking for something else: “Due to its inefficiencies and mismanagement, the government-run Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) had according to the 2007 report suffered a debt of 15 billion rupees. Furthermore, the report revealed that the CEB’s internal audit division was deceitful and not up to standard, as it had not disclosed many fraudulent activities of the board. COPE pointed out that the appointment of the deputy general manager to the Kerawalapitiya power plant was done whilst he was under allegations from the internal audit division and he continued in office even when suggestions were made to remove him from his post. Thus COPE ordered that the retired deputy general manager was to not be given any benefits until his disciplinary inquiry was over, and requested that inquires against other officials be speeded up.”

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    Paddy,

    You are as imperialist as I am, mate. The fact is both of us travel in the same trajectory here. I love Ireland, the Irish, Galway Bay, Shannon and Ruby Murray. No less I have the greatest respect for that elegant Julie Robinson.

    I love to see as many from your part of the worl coming into my country. That part of the world used to be my second home with one or two Irish roses coming into play as well. Pity! You have to suffer with us in this Miracle of Asia. But lose no heart, my friebd, it may be the Resplendent Isle sooner than later.

    Senguttuvan

    • 0
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      Thank you for the vote of confidence in the Hibernians. we must meet up for a galss of the dark stuff!

    • 0
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      That should have been “glass”. Many was the time I saw Ruby Murray perform live as my aunties were great fans. Ruby sadly declined into alcoholism. At one time she was living in a gay pub in Manchester called The Rembrandt.

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    I am ashamed at some of the comments made here . Pardigam Colman is having a genuine problem and so does all the others whose electricity supply is interrupted. Instead of recognising this problem some have gone at a tangent to attack him personally . How pathetic is this . Where are all the intellgient people in SL ?

    • 0
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      Actually, the only shameful comment is from Eejit Randeniya – a patriotic Sri Lankan who has spent most of his adult life in the comfort of Sydney Australia where he doe not have to endure constant power cuts.

  • 1
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    Dear Padraig Colman, console yourself with this thought: you are less likely to become corrupt. As Lord Acton’s second cousin, East Acton, once said:

    “All power tends to corrupt. Continuous power tends to corrupt continuously. Intermittent power tends to corrupt only intermittently.”

    • 0
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      I like that!

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    It is high time we had a consumer complaints board/service of some kind, or, at least, a gripe column in every paper, for long suffering citizens who do not have the privileges of parliament to take refuge in. Of course, there are always Letters to the Editor but that’s not quite the same, though some are quite horrifying. In this “land like no other” I a letter recounted the writer’s sister, a patient awaiting an op in the Cancer Hospital, being out of her bed when he went to visit her just before she was to be taken into the theatre. She had gone to buy a plastic bucket to give the surgeons to put her “body parts” (sic!) as they were being removed! Whether she is also responsible for the bucket’s emptying and cleaning, was not to reported. Cf this with the costly care given to our Prime Minister, who should have retired form being a drain on the public purse years ago, in John HOpkins University in America! Little would he have thought, when cowering on his village roof in fear from mobs in the post election violence of 1977, that he would received such kingly treatment!. This is, surely, a land like no other.

    • 0
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      “It is high time we had a consumer complaints board/service of some kind, or, at least, a gripe column in every paper, for long suffering citizens who do not have the privileges of parliament to take refuge in.”

      I would like to campaign for that through the Gripe Corner column in The Nation but I am hitting a wall of apathy.

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        You run a Gripe Column in a newspaper owned and operated by The Royal Family? And you have the nerve to complain about your patrons?
        Now we’ve heard it all! Who are you kidding? Your Managing Editor, Malinda Seneviratne?
        Man you’ve got …. to spout this nonsense or do you think ALL Sri Lankans are idiots?

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          Not all.

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    A transformer exploded at Wimalasurendra hydropower station last night (Dec 05), power and energy deputy minister Premalal Jayasekara.

    The incident is not a serious one, said a spokesman for the power station.

    Its activities have been halted for a few hours to do the repair work.

    Points to the technical incompetence of the CEB. Do transformers normally burst? As usual we have the Minister and CEB washing their hands and downplaying the incident.

    • 0
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      At least they have made a show of giving technical reasons. What are the technical reasons for my seven power cuts every morning?

      • 0
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        Padraig Colman:
        Ask your patrons this question, buddy!

        • 0
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          who are my patrons?

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      Allways breakdown. Something radically wrong. Maybe Champika should do a Bhahirawa Pooja.

      One of the turbines at the Wimalasurendra power plant has stalled due to a technical problem.

      According to the Deputy Chairman of the Ceylon Electricity Board, Anura Wijepala only one turbine is currently operational at the plant.

      Wijepala added that CEB engineers are looking into the problem.

      He noted that the breakdown will not disrupt the power supply.

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    Paddy,

    Jolly nice of you. Must do. Will bring a wee bit of my Jameson in
    my flask – from the Collectors bottle my son gave me when he toured
    Ireland recently for a World Cup run-up Cricket match.

    In case your thoughts strayed towards what my age could be, I like Bono/U2 too – as do the Clinton Three, who as you know, are as Irish as can be.

    Senguttuvan

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      Jameson’s is my favourite tipple. I have an apartment in Distillery Walk next to the place where they make the amber nectar. I was shocked to see how expensive it has become in Keels. Can’t afford Jameson’s and electricity.

      Contact me on spikeyriter@gmail.com

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    Senguttuvan

    Have you had time to check your mail?

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      Are you my old friend from OS?

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    We are third world –> second world yet..any villagers complaining of the power supply? They are glad that the lights work even if erratically. If anyone from the wants to live in remote places, Install your own generator..then you are happy and so are we. But please stop bitching about another’s house when you are a guest..or get lost. Go home. Period.

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      This is my home. Where do you live? Sri Lanka, Australia, USA?

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    Also, your article and comments about people are offensive..in poor taste.

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      “Also, your article and comments about people are offensive..in poor taste”

      In what way, pray tell?

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    Padraig Colman:
    Try genuflecting more often to the people you suck up to: the Rajapaksas. That JUST might do the trick. In the alternative, why don’t you go park yourself at the night-race track in Colombo which your buddies are lighting so well and expensively for their entertainment? The only thing is that your “pandama” will pale into insignificance against those floodlights!
    It is rather unlikely, one supposes, that someone who has discovered how helpful sycophancy to the powerful can be in Sri Lanka will be able to join the dots that link power outages to rank corruption and incompetence.

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      Not my kind of thing. not my kind of buddies.

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      Are you Nihan/Heshan/Observer?

      This is very odd. Anyone in their right mind can see that this is an article criticising the government and calling a minister to account.Yet Anti-Boru takes it as an opportunity to call me a government lackey. Styrange mental processes at work here!

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    Anti-Boru,

    I fail to see the offence Colman caused you to warrant this brutal onslaught. Unless you are absolutely certain he is a Rajapakse plant, I think you owe him an apology. For many millentia this country – of both Sinhalese and Tamils – has built a tradition for kindness, hospitality and courtesy to our visitors. If you will forgive me,
    let us keep it that way.

    Senguttuvan

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      Of course I know I know how to spell your name, you moron! Eejit is Irish idiom for idiot, idiot! I will call you Amadan in future. I can spell New York!

      “How is Malinda, by the way? Your nemesis?” WTF is that supposed to mean?

      How is Malinda, by the way?

      Your nemesis?

      You are evading the main point – I am living in Sri Lanka and you have decide you prefer Sydney.

      Funny how some accuse me of being a government lackey, but you think my sinister mission is to undermine the government.

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        This should have been a reply to the Hon Mr Randeniya. Apologies to Sengu

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      I have met a Rajapaksa. His name, as far as I know, was not Mahinda, Gota, Basil or Chamal. He runs a grocery store at the Ten-Mile Post.

      As I have said before, it is very strange that someone should respond to an article critical of the government by accusing me of sucking up to the government.

      At the same time, dear old Eejit Randeniya, who knows nothing whatever about me (although he correctly describes me as a “literary genius”) from the comfort of Sydney, believes that I have been planted in Sri Lanka to undermine the country he loves so much that he has decided not to live in it.

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    This literary genius hasn’t learnt how to spell Sri Lankan names even after living for 10 full years amongst us. But he surely knows how to hurt someone. He spells my name as Eijit!

    For your information, Sydney also has power cuts annd so does Washington and New Yourk where I have personally experienced them. THe problem with people like you (placed to spy on our culture, weaknesses etc) are eveready to dismiss ‘those’power cuts as mere aberrations. But even a five minute power cut in a country like Sri Lanka is immediately blown up as a huge problem of bad governance, corruption, maladministration and every other known evil that affect the sub-human condition (which you implicitly state that you, the pale skins have overcome).

    Those who need to know in Sri Lanka know who you are, what your mission is and your modus operandi. THey wont harm you, but you will not be successful.

    How is Malinda, by the way?

    Your nemesis?

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      Dearest Eejit, I am still puzzled by this:”Those who need to know in Sri Lanka know who you are, what your mission is and your modus operandi. THey wont harm you, but you will not be successful.How is Malinda, by the way? Your nemesis?”

      I asked Malinda if he could shed any light and he said:”have no idea”.

      Keep taking the tablets dear boy.

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    The meaning is, Padre, that you are not in Sri Lanka because you love Sri Lanka or Sri Lankans. You are on a mission.

    Ask Malinda how the US election monitoring trip was. His handler has let the word loose in Colombo!

    You have found a local collaborator in Jayantha. Sounds like he is ready to lick boots until he has blisters on his tongue. You’ll find a few more, but necer enough to stage Spring!

    Fragrant EEjit.

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    Another thing Padre,

    I have been reliably informed (I live in Battaramulla by the way), that the reason for your power failure is not bad government but a unicorn has beeen chewing the cables in your area. Have you seen one lately?

    Fragrant Eejit

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      Battaramulls? Is that a suburb of Sydney?

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    Geez, you’ve gone quiet Padre!
    Are both of you shivering in your boots?

    By the way, keep employing those poor chaps you have been giving money to. THey might become useful one day…… in your next berth perhaps!

    Your friend

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    “in your next berth perhaps!”

    you seem to have a homophone problem

    i am quiet because i am away from my home keyboard

    my current berth is close to battaramulla

    sweating not shivering

    get in touch with you soon you big hunk you

    perhaps in battaramulla?!

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    Padre, I deliberately misspell when I write to frauds like you who are legends in their own websites.

    To put it again to you, I dilibarately miss spel wen I rite to frodes like u.

    How is that?

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      Enough of this foolishness. Time to move on.

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