Top Lankan official quits days after making controversial allegations against Modi, Adani

Ceylon Electricity Board Chairman Ferdinando had accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of pressurizing the Sri Lankan government over the allotment of a wind power project to the Adani Group.

Published: 13th June 2022 04:58 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th June 2022 08:16 PM   |  A+A-

Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) Chairman, M.M.C. Ferdinando

Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) Chairman, M.M.C. Ferdinando

By Online Desk

Days after he alleged Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pressurized the Sri Lankan government over allotting a wind power project to Adani group, the Chairman of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) MMC Ferdinando has quit. Ferdinando's revelation had sparked a political controversy forcing him to retract his statement and finally leading to his resignation on Monday.

Sri Lanka’s Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekera tweeted, “I have accepted the letter of resignation tendered to me by the CEB Chairman Mr MMC Ferdinando. Vice Chairman Nalinda Ilangaokoon will take over as the New Chairman CEB.”

Ferdinando had told the Parliamentary Watchdog Committee On Public Enterprises (COPE) session that Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa asked him to award a 500-megawatt renewable energy project to the Adani Group due to pressure from Narendra Modi.

Later, Ferdinando retracted his statement claiming that what he had said was incorrect.

Issuing a statement addressed to COPE Chair Dr. Charitha Herath, the former CEB chairman had said that he was compelled without limitation to express the word ‘Indian Prime Minister’ due to unexpected ‘pressure and emotions’ during the discussion.

Ferdinando said he had become “emotional due to pressures and unreasonable allegations” levelled against him during the testimony.

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“Therefore, due to unexpected pressure and emotions, I was compelled without limitation to express the word ‘India agamathi bala kara bawa kiwwa’ (stressed by the Prime Minister of India), which is totally incorrect. Hence I wish to withdraw the relevant statement and record my apology unconditionally,” local media reports quoted Ferdinando as saying.

“In regard to the clarification made by me at the COPE (Parliament’s Committee on Public Enterprises) meeting held on 10 June 2022, in replying to the allegation made against me on the proposed Mannar and Pooneryn wind and solar projects with Adani Green Energy Limited to generate renewable energy of 500 MW, I explained the circumstances behind my letter dated 25 November 2021,” Ferdinando said.

Even before the chairman of the state-owned CEB withdrew or apologised for his remarks, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had already dismissed the claims and wrote “I categorically deny authorisation to award this project to any specific person or entity. I trust responsible communication in this regard will follow”.

The Adani Group reportedly acquired contracts to develop two wind power projects in December last year. Adani Green Energy, a subsidiary of the Adani Group, had submitted its proposal to the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka and the CEB.

Sri Lanka had recently amended its electricity law effectively eliminating competitive bidding for energy projects. In the wake of it, the opposition lawmakers had criticized the government for eliminating competitive bidding saying that it was to facilitate projects like that of the Adani Group.   


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