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Indian oil company detains CPC workers

Three officials including an engineer of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) sent to inspect 16 oil tanks in the Trincomalee oil tank farm were detained by IOC (India Oil Company) personnel yesterday, according to CPC sources.

A CPC official that the inspection had been ordered in the wake of the Cabinet deciding to take back 16 oil tanks.

Trade union sources told The Island that the CPC had intervened to secure its employees’ release along with their vehicles. They had been held for several hours, sources said, adding that the CPC wanted 16 out 99 tanks for its use. The CPC intended to take them over in stages and was in the process of finalising project when IOC personnel intervened, sources said.

IOC told CPC that inspection couldn’t be carried out without approval from the government of India.

Meanwhile, the Head of Indian Oil Company in Sri Lanka, Shyam Bohora, contacted for comment, said the CPC had given the names of four officials, but five had turned up. "We did not detain anyone. When our officials in Trincomalee found that there was an extra person, they told the CPC officials to ensure that all names be provided in future. Then, the CPC officials went and lodged a complaint with police. All them have since returned to Colombo."
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