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Sri Lankan PM orders probe into power cuts during local New Year

COLOMBO, April 19 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Tuesday instructed authorities to submit a report over the sudden power cuts in some parts of the country during the local New Year.

Sri Lanka celebrated its traditional Sinhala and Tamil New Year this week but many electricity consumers complained to the Prime Minister that they were faced with power outages despite an assurance from the government of uninterrupted power supply during the New Year season.

Local media report said that Wickremesinghe had informed relevant authorities to provide a complete report regarding the matter.

Sri Lanka's power sector has been facing a crisis in the recent months with three nation wide power failures reported since September last year.

The latest country-wide breakdown was reported on March 13, with power cut off for more than seven hours, the longest power failure to be reported in Sri Lanka in 20 years.

The failure occurred due to an explosion in an electricity transformer in the outskirts of the capital which prompted authorities to initiate an immediate probe.

Days later, another substation in Kotugoda, in the suburbs of the capital caught fire after exploding, plunging parts of the country into darkness.

Experts from Germany arrived in the country last month to inspect the two transformers which caught fire and the reasons which led to the power failures. The government has announced that it would seek assistance and support from China to operate the country's main power plant.