Guwahati: As Sri Lanka continues with the economic hurdles, the head of its electricity authority reportedly testified before a parliamentary panel that he was told by the country’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa that Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India had insisted a 500-megawatt wind power project be directly given to the Adani group.
This was reported by The Wire on Saturday.
The report further states that Rajapaksa in his response to the claim denied asking for the project to be given to any specific entity.
By Sunday, which was two days after the claim was made, the head or chairman, MMC Ferdinando in a U-turn to the statement claimed that he “lied after being overcome with emotion”.
Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) chairman MMC Ferdinando at an open hearing of the parliamentary Committee of Public Enterprises claim that he was told that the Indian prime minister was insisting the 500 MW wind power plant be given to the Adani Group by the president of the country himself.
As per the reports, Ferdinando stated that he was summoned by the president on November 24, 2021 where he was told that India’s Prime Minister Modi was pressuring him to hand over the project to the Adani group.
Ferdinando answering to the questions posed by the committee chair and another member about how the Adani group had been chosen to construct a 500 MW wind power plant on Sri Lanka’s northern coast.
“He insisted that I look into it. I then sent a letter mentioning that the president has instructed me and the finance secretary should do the needful. I pointed out that this is a government-to-government deal,” he said.
During the hearings, the panel chair, Charitha Herath, asked whether the wind power deal would be considered “unsolicited”.
Ferdinando to this replied, “Yes, this is a government-to-government deal, but the negotiations should take place according to the least cost policy mentioned in the act.”
However, this was later denied and contradicted by the Sri Lankan President, Rajapaksa.
In a tweet, Rajapaksa said, “Re a statement made by the #lka CEB Chairman at a COPE committee hearing regarding the award of a Wind Power Project in Mannar, I categorically deny authorisation to award this project to any specific person or entity.”
After this, Ferdinando withdrew the statement while speaking to a Lankan news outlet, News 1st.