CEB irks Sri Lanka cricket legend

Sri Lanka cricket legend Kumar Sangakkara publicly grouching about the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) not answering his calls has sparked a social media storm with both helpful tips and barbs thrown at him.

Five days after complaining that the CEB was not taking his calls, Sangakkara thanked the electricity utility in a tweet on Tuesday. His initial tweet triggered 106 comments, 121 re-tweets and 1,700 likes.

“Has anyone in Colombo been able to get through to the Ceylon Electricity Board offices? They don’t seem to be answering the phones at all,” Sangakkara complained on December 1 as millions of people were without electricity.

The effects of cyclone Ockhi had brought down power lines disrupting supplies to over 800,000 homes, hotels and businesses and the CEB was forced to draft in the services of the army to clear fallen trees and restore electricity.

Sangakkara’s fans offered him CEB hotline numbers as well as the power and energy ministry emergency helpline while some were irritated that the cricket legend was expecting favoured treatment during a natural disaster.

“You have endorsed so many mobile networks, which one are you using to call CEB,” a twitter user asked Sangakkara. “I used a SLT landline and had no problem whatsoever. They also gave a perfectly reasonable explanation for the delay in restoring service. It is not cricket to criticise unfairly. UNFAIR.”

That comment by a user identified as @Rohanperera73 apparently got under the skin of Sangakkara who replied with a terse: “wow. Aren’t you a superstar.” That provoked an angry rebuttal: “It is the superstars who are agitated when their phone is not answered. We, the commoners, are used to standing in line for service. Match-fixing superstars don’t have patience, Think they are owed priority. As Ranatunga sys, should investigate 2011 WC debacle at Wankhede. SAD.”

It was apparently a reference to Sri Lanka’s World Cup winning skipper Arjuna Ranatunga’s recent call for an investigation into how the island lost the finals to India in a match many thought Sangakkara’s team was on its way to win when suddenly the course of the game changed dramatically.

There was no direct response from Sangakkara to the sniping, but he appeared to take the advice of many fans who gave him the correct hotline numbers, but posted another tweet saying he was having lousy luck. “thank you. When I call and am on hold waiting for my turn the line cuts off suddenly when I’m the next in line. Wil kp tryingne,” he said.

@dumindaaxsb offered this advice to Sangakkara: “Use Auto-Redial, that’s the only way to call any CEB office in #lka during down times.” He added a link to download an auto redial app.

A fan in India suggested that Sri Lankans, including Sangakkara, were better off than Indians @Salmangondekar said: “Here in India we don’t even have helpline numbers.”

@mandeep_karetha advised Sangakkara to have a cup of Ceylon tea and possibly recover his patience.

on Tuesday, Sangakkara thanked the CEB: “Many thanks to the Ceylon Electricity Board Homagama. Got through to them and they explained that they were responding to an overwhelming amount of requests. They assured that power will be restored at the soonest. Sometimes all you need is a proper explanation.

A few minutes later he said: “And power has been restored. Thank you again to the CEB.”

Another fan advised Sangakkara against rushing to criticize the CEB. @shibs_123 said: “Next time pls dont be hasty to taking to social media for small issues:)”

At least one twitter user complained that Sangakkara had blocked him after he responded to what he thought was unfair criticism of the CEB during a national calamity.

Sangakkara may have considered criticism offensive, but left on his twitter feed several comments containing disparaging remarks on several, including the President. (Economy Next)

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