CPC offices sealed, Chairman denies Sajin’s Rs. 170 mn. debt report

by Maheen Senanayake

Security officers of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) sealed the headquarters offices on Friday morning leaving many of its staff in the corridors until close of business.

Speaking to the Sunday Island, its former Chairman and former Secretary to the Prime Minister, Mr. S. Amarasekara, said, "I have heard that my office room was sealed as were some of the others. But no one can possibly keep a secret in a government office. Any secret that you have, at least hundred others will know. I say this because it is alleged that there were confidential or secret files at the premises."

A light hearted Amarasekara said "I have tendered my resignation and its high time I took a little time off. I understand that the security has acted on the instructions of the minister. I do not believe that sealing an office helps any investigation - especially so, given that continuity of business is of national importance when it comes to an essential service such as CPC."

Asked whether in fact Sajin Vas Gunawardena is in debt to CPC, he said "I enquired about this when the media began to publicize this story. The CPC has a procedure and if truth be told, the CPC employs several processes. First, certain distributors are entitled to pay by cheque for one day credit. If at all a cheque is not honored, the fine is Rs. 5000. If the incident occurs again, the second time the fine is Rs. 10,000. On a third occasion the fine is Rs. 50,000. Thereafter, any purchases are strictly on cash. I understand that for the last seven months, fuel has been issued to Mr. Sajin Vas’s fuel station on hard cash."

Explaining further he said "No fuel is provided on credit to private institutions. If at all on reconciliation a small amount – less than Rs. 100 is due from the CPC to Mr. Sajin Vas."

When the Sunday Island asked the chairman whether in fact he is refuting all the allegations in the media that the CPC in fact issued fuel on credit to Vas and that there are huge amounts outstanding to the CPC from his fuel station in Ambalangoda, he said "Yes, I am. These are attempts by some to obtain cheap publicity."

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