Panic buying of fuel continues despite end of strike

The strike launched by the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) Trade Union Collective was suspended last night following an assurance received by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. Workers of Sri Lanka’s state-run petroleum firm launched the indefinite strike against the Government’s proposed deal with India to jointly operate an oil storage facility in Trincomalee.Sri Lanka and India are expected to sign an agreement to jointly invest and develop the Trincomalee Port and establish a petroleum refinery and other industries there. (Colombo Gazette) Some small fuel stations were closed this morning as they had run out of stocks. Panic buying of fuel continued this morning despite the end of the strike by trade unions last night.Long queues were seen at several fuel stations around the country today as fuel browsers had yet to provide adequate supplies following the end of the strike. read more

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Afghans close to completing UN shelter scheme for returning refugees

A spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Kris Janowski, said today that 34,000 homes have already been built, providing shelter to more than 170,000 people who returned to Afghanistan this year after years of war and Taliban rule.At a press briefing in Geneva, Mr. Janowski said another 16,000 houses are currently under construction and should be ready for habitation by the end of the year. Another 2,000 homes are expected to be built early next year.In October, the UNHCR stepped up the pace of the scheme to try to make sure that as many homes as possible were built ahead of Afghanistan’s normally bitter winter.Mr. Janowski said that, under the scheme, the UNHCR provides tool kits, walls, roofing timbers, doors and window frames to approved refugees, as well as a stipend to help pay for construction.The UNHCR has estimated that more than 610,000 Afghan refugees have returned this year, with almost all arriving from either Pakistan or Iran. read more

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