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* Controversial electricity bill passed in Sri Lanka parliament
Tuesday, March 3, 2009, 15:31 GMT, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 03, Colombo: Amid heavy resistance from the unions of Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), the controversial new electricity bill was passed with the majority of 69 votes in Sri Lanka parliament this evening.

The bill received 109 votes in favour and only 40 votes against it.

However some unions of the CEB today staged a protest campaign near the Fort Railway Station against the new electricity bill.

Reportedly the union supported by the Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna has organized this protest campaign.

Following the campaign the protesters attempted to walk to the head office of the CEB but the security forces did not grant permission.

Demanding to withdraw the bill some CEB workers in protest called-in sick and were absent from work.

The unions say the government is trying to privatize the power generation by this new bill.

However, as CEB has incurred huge losses while not even providing a reasonable service to the public experts are of the view that privatization may be necessary to make the institution profitable.

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