Sri Lanka Electricity Chief Resigns After Withdrawing Remark Accusing PM Modi Of Pushing Adani Deal

 

Sri Lanka Adani Row: President Rajapaksa on Saturday categorically denied Ferdinando's statement before the parliamentary panel.

New Delhi: A Sri Lankan official has resigned after sparking a major controversy with his claim during a hearing before a parliamentary panel on Friday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi allegedly influenced President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to award a wind power project to the Indian multinational conglomerate Adani Group. Later Sri Lanka's Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) chairman MMC Ferdinando withdrew his claims on Sunday. However, President Rajapaksa on Saturday categorically denied Ferdinando's statement before the parliamentary panel.

Rajapaksa tweeted: “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”.

The letter, written by Ferdinando on 25 November 2021, is addressed to the Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, SR Attygalle. The letter refers to the Prime Minister's direction to recognise the proposal of the Adani Green Energy Ltd (AGEL) as the proposal of the Government of Sri Lanka from the Government of India because, in order to face the FDI crisis, the heads of both the countries are responsible for this investment in Sri Lanka. 

It added that this official in the November 16 meeting with President Gotabhaya had directed Adani Green Energy to develop 500MV wind and solar, renewable power projects in Mannar and Punarin as it is already in Sri Lanka. The official also said that the signing of the power purchase agreement and other related agreements should be taken forward as an investment proposal for Sri Lanka.

However, the video of Ferdinando's remarks in the parliamentary committee hearing is being widely shared on Twitter. In the video, the official is saying this in Sinhalese, “On November 24, 2021, the president summoned me after a meeting and said, India’s Prime Minister Modi is pressuring him to hand over the project to the Adani group,” Ferdinando said, according to a video clip of his testimony uploaded by Sri Lankan news channel, News1st.

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