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Steam leak forces coal fired power plant to shut down depriving 300MW

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By Ifham Nizam

A breakdown of the third unit of the Lakvijaya Coal Power Plant Complex at Norochcholai yesterday resulted in a countrywide three-hour power cuts. However, power cuts would be limited to two and a half hours for the time being due to the availability of alternative energy sources, said the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL).

The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) top management yesterday assured the Norochcholai plant would be back in operation on Saturday.

The PUCSL Chief told The Island politicians should understand that the country could not continue to be dependent on one base and that an energy mix was of paramount importance.

He also said that he stood by the remarks he made on fuel quality which led the Minister to threaten legal action against him. “I am ready for any action… I don’t go by social media remarks,” he added.

He said that the third plant of Norochchoali would be restored by Monday and the second plant would be back in operation during the first week of October.

The PUCSL has given approval for the Ceylon Electricity Board to purchase power from Private Plants until the Norochcholai Power Plant is restored.

Minister Wijesekera said the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation would provide diesel, naphtha, and furnace oil to the CEB to maintain power generation without extending the power cuts.

The daily power cuts were extended recently from 1 hour to 2 hours and 20 minutes.



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Embassy officer arrested at BIA remanded

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The Embassy official who was attached to the Sri Lanka Embassy in Oman who is accused of being involved in a human trafficking racket was arrested by officers of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and remanded till the 13th of December when he was produced before the Colombo Chief Magistrate

The official was arrested on his arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) this morning (29 November).

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Easter Sunday terror attack suspect hacked to death

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By Norman Palihawadane

A 38-year-old Easter Sunday terror attack suspect was hacked to death yesterday morning (28) in Mattakkuliya.

The victim, Mohamed Badurdeen Mohamed Harnas, was a resident of Safiya Avenue, Mattakkuliya, police said.

A suspect in the Easter Sunday terror attacks, he had been released on bail.

The suspect was rushed to the National Hospital, Colombo, after three individuals, who arrived in a car around 10. 00 am, attacked him.

Two persons attacked the man while the other was keeping the car engine running, according to eyewitnesses. The attackers thereafter fled in the same car.

Harnas was pronounced dead on admission to hospital.

Further investigations in this regard are currently underway.

The victims family members said that Harnas had been taken into custody, following the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks, but later released as there was no evidence of his involvement in terrorist activities.

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Rail service between Mahawa and Jaffna to be suspended for five months

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Transport Minister Bandula Gunawardena told Parliament yesterday that the railway services between Mahawa and Jaffna will be suspended for a period of five months in 2023.

The Minister said that operations will be suspended from January 15, 2023.

The Minister said it was to repair work on the railway line.

He said so in response to a question raised by Vanni District MP Selvam Adaikalanathan.

“We are focusing our attention on the request made by you. We have to halt railway operations between Mahawa and Jaffna for five months from January 2023. Train services have been continuously operating to Jaffna, but now we have faced a situation as we have not been able to carry out any repair work thus far,” the Minister said.

Assuring that this issue can be rectified in five months, Minister Gunawardane said that, thereafter, a good railway service can be provided for this route.

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