It was late afternoon. Verum was napping. Just then her trusty crystal ball lit up and hummed. The humming got louder and louder, waking up Verum.

“What? Who?” Verum said, startled, “Ah! My crystal ball.”

Scorch walked in just in time, “Go on. Am listening,” she told Verum, patting her shoulders lovingly.

“Today the news is from Sri Lanka. It is an island country in South Asia. Recently the President of this nation, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, banned employees associated with essential services from going on strikes. He announced this through a gazette, an official publication containing public notices,” said Verum.

“Suddenly? Is there a reason,” said Scorch.

“He issued this ban after unions threatened to protest against the energy deal that Sri Lanka is set to get into with a United States company,” replied Verum, “A union is an organization formed by workers to protect their rights and interests. Now all services related to the supply and distribution of fuel have been listed under essential services.”

“I think the discussion to sign this deal started in September this year,” said Orak who had just walked into the dorm room.

“Right. The US-based New Fortress Energy had announced that it had a deal to supply state-run Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) liquified natural gas (LNG). Ceylon is the former name of Sri Lanka.

LNG is stored at temperatures as low as -260°F. At these temperature conditions, natural gas is in a liquid state. It is used for the production of electricity and is less polluting than other fossil fuels.

Those who are against this deal, which also includes some leaders, feel that this will lead to the nation losing millions of dollars and it could also put national security at threat,” said Verum.

“We have to wait and watch what happens. Give us the update, Verum,” said Scorch.