Removal of Litro Gas Directors stymied by bomb scare | Sunday Observer

Removal of Litro Gas Directors stymied by bomb scare

An Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of the Government-owned Litro Gas Company was unexpectedly postponed last week, due to an alleged bomb scare at the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC).

The main objective of the EGM was to remove the current board of directors of Litro Gas, in which SLIC holds a 96 percent stake. A new board of directors was to be appointed at the EGM.

Officials are now raising questions about whether the bomb scare at SLIC was orchestrated to sabotage the EGM and keep the old board of Litro Gas in place for the time being.

The Sunday Observer learns that security units were called in to the SLIC to deal with the bomb scare. Although troops discovered a suspicious object at the premises, it was revealed that it was in fact an empty tin wrapped up to look like a bomb.

The incident delayed work at the SLIC by about an hour. Later an internal probe found that the plan was to disrupt the extraordinary general meeting of Litro Gas that was to take place that day. The Litro Gas headquarters is in the SLIC building.

Two months ago, Litro Gas, the controversy-ridden state owned LNG provider was taken over by the Ministry of Finance, by gazette notification. Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera urged the old board of directors to resign, but none of them had done so, highly placed sources told the Sunday Observer.

Minister Samaraweera called for resignations after probing financial irregularities within the company. Last week’s EGM was a last ditch effort to remove the board of directors. However, following the bomb scare the appointment of the new board members was disrupted.

The Sunday Observer also learns that a mud-slinging campaign began against Minister Samaraweera after he called for the resignation of the Board of Directors of Litro Gas Terminal Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. Several websites have been used to publish articles to discredit the Finance Minister, it is learnt.

In Parliament two weeks ago, UNP MP Hirunika Premachandra said Litro Gas Managing Director Muditha Peiris and Director Lakmali Hapuarachchi were running a dictatorship in the company.

Premachandran said a large number of complaints was forwarded to the company stating that the gas was not suitable for use.

She added that Litro Gas has made losses to the tune of Rs 3.1 million by providing gas cylinders free to politicians.

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