July 17, Colombo: Workers at Sri Lanka's petroleum refinery at Sapugaskanda protested a visit by a group of parliamentarians of the main opposition United National Party (UNP) today to the refinery and prevented the MPs from entering the facility.
The group of 10 UNP parliamentarians cancelled the tour and returned after a tense situation developed at the entrance to the Sapugaskanda petroleum refinery when the workers opposing their visit blocked them.
The refinery, which was closed for over a month due to breakdowns in the pipes that supply crude oil to the plant, resumed operations Wednesday.
The workers had hoisted black flags in the refinery premises to protest the UNP MPs' visit.
The workers supportive of the government have told the MPs that they can visit the refinery only after answering the questions about the destructive activities of the UNP regime in 2001 to 2003. They charged that the then UNP government tried to destroy the refinery and sell public property.
UNP parliamentarian Ruwan Wijewardena charged that the government was afraid of their visit to the country's sole petroleum refinery and plotted against it. He said the issue would be raised in parliament.
The UNP MPs would visit the Sapugaskanda petroleum refinery again, he added.