Petrol crisis fuels social media
The birth and growth of social media, among them Facebook, WhatsApp et al, have taken Sri Lankan humour to a newer level.
As the fuel stations went dry of petrol, the result of the state- owned Ceylon Petroleum Corporation’s (CPC) inability to maintain adequate buffer stocks,
audio and video clips went viral. Almost all of them were critical of the ruling coalition leaders.
Others carried comments from those who had spent hours outside fuel stations. “How can the Government talk of distributing power to the periphery when it cannot even distribute petrol,” declared one of them. Said another, “I could not take my children to school today. Politicians, however, have their Prados and Pajeros with tanks filled to run around.” Some of the remarks were unprintable.
Different videos ran as songs modelled on wellknown reggae and Sinhala numbers played in the background. In one, the man sprinting with a burning torch, the logo of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation was replaced. It depicted what appeared to be a driver carrying an empty can. In another video clip, there was a crowd outside a fuel station where the pump was placed at the rear of a donkey.
Leading supermarkets realised the plight of their regular customers. The customers received SMS messages that until the petrol shortage lasts, they would deliver to their homes all their needs.