ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appointed an eight-member committee to investigate recent reports of liquid petroleum (LP) gas cylinder fires and make recommendations, the President’s Media Division (PMD) said on Tuesday (30).

President Rajapaksa appointed the committee to look into a spate of incidents reported to have occurred at domestic and commercial settings such as restaurants and sales outlets in various parts of the country. The committee is tasked with finding possible causes in order to provide immediate solutions to the issue, the PMD said in a statement.

The president has instructed the committee to gather information from all stakeholders and look into existing studies and opinions expressed and to submit a report within two weeks, the PMD said.

Chaired by Prof Shantha Walpola from the University of Moratuwa, the committee comprises Senior Deputy Inspector General (SDIG) Deshabandu Tennakoon, Prof Ajith De Alwis, University of Moratuwa, Prof W D W Jayathilaka, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Prof Pradeep Jayaweera, Prof Narayan Sirimuthu, Commissioner of the Sri Lanka Inventors Commission, Dr Sudarshana Somasiri, Additional Director General of Technical Services and Sujeewa Mahagama, Senior Deputy Director of the Sri Lanka Standards institute.

Authorities have yet to find the cause behind over 20 incidents of fire and explosions suspected to be due to gas leaks. Multiple gas linked fires were reported around the country with some blaming alleged composition changes in the cooking gas cylinders.

The government has acknowledged that the incidents of fire and explosions are unusual and has said it is looking into the matter.  (Colombo/Nov39/2021)