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Wednesday June 29th, 2022

Sri Lanka CEB chairman resigns after Adani deal revelations

ECONOMYNEXT – Chairman of Sri Lanka’s state-run Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) M M C Fernando resigned after contradictory statements made about a renewable energy deal with the Adani Group without tendering.

“I have accepted the letter of resignation tendered to me by the CEB Chairman Mr M M C Ferdinando. Vice Chairman Nalinda Ilangaokoon will take over as the New Chairman CEB,” Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekara tweeted Monday afternoon.

Ferdinando had told Sri Lanka parliament’s Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had told him that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had pressured him to hand over a wind power project to India’s Adani Group.

Following a swift denial by President Rajapaksa, Ferdinando withdrew his statement to COPE, claiming that he had made the remark in a moment of pressure and emotion.

The CEB chairman’s speech had made headlines both in Sri Lanka and India, nearly causing an international incident. Congress MP Rahul Gandhi was quoted by Indian media as criticising Modi and alleging that the ruling Bharatiya Janatha Party (BJP)’s cronyism has crossed the Palk Strait.

Ferdinando was quoted by Sri Lanka’s Newsfirst Television as saying he was not pressured by anyone to withdraw the statement.

The Adani project is one of several which authorities were trying to approve without competitive tender.

Last week the government changed the governing law of state-run Ceylon Electricity Board to end competitive tendering, as opposition protested it will lead to widespread procurement scams.

Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa charged that making false statements to COPE was a violation of parliamentary privilege and he hoped to bring it up in parliament.

“I will bring a proposal in parliament over the violation of priviledge,” Premadasa said. (Colombo/Jun13/2022)

Comments (1)

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  1. Shiran Mendis says:

    A senior man such as Mr Ferdinando cannot offer a flimsy excuse such as
    stress for making irresponsible statements & withdrawing same the following day.
    Wasn’t he involved with the Norochcholai project? Therefore he should have sufficient experience.
    A common statement is that CEB is running at a loss.
    Good time for a special audit of CEB’s affairs.
    As a rule of thumb, the assets & liabilities of all department heads, Chairmen of Corporations & Boards must be audited.
    This is a general comment, without any insinuations about any person.

View all comments (1)

Comments (1)

Your email address will not be published.

  1. Shiran Mendis says:

    A senior man such as Mr Ferdinando cannot offer a flimsy excuse such as
    stress for making irresponsible statements & withdrawing same the following day.
    Wasn’t he involved with the Norochcholai project? Therefore he should have sufficient experience.
    A common statement is that CEB is running at a loss.
    Good time for a special audit of CEB’s affairs.
    As a rule of thumb, the assets & liabilities of all department heads, Chairmen of Corporations & Boards must be audited.
    This is a general comment, without any insinuations about any person.