Sri Lanka deploys army to guard power stations

Colombo, March 14 (IANS) Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Monday ordered the army to be deployed to guard electricity sub-stations connected to the National Power Grid after the island-nation was plunged into long hours of power failure.

The power disruption on Sunday lasted for over seven hours and was the third reported in the country within the past six months, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Ceylon Electricity Board said that an explosion and massive damage to an electricity transformer on the outskirts of Colombo was the cause of the power failure.

The power failure was the longest in Sri Lanka in 20 years. Many areas in the country suffered power shut-downs even on Monday as the national grid remained tripped.

The government termed the power failure as “strange”, and there was a speculation that an act of sabotage had triggered the transformer blast and blackout across the country.

The electricity failure also resulted in water cuts in many parts of Sri Lanka and traffic congestions as traffic signals went on the blink.

Anura Wijepala, chairman of the Ceylon Electricity Board, resigned on Sunday, assuming full responsibility of the three nationwide power failures in the past three minths, which have been reported since the new government came to office in August 2015.

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