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Wednesday June 29th, 2022

Sri Lanka CEB ex chair’s letter to be tabled for discussion at next COPE meeting

File photo: COPE meeting chaired by Charitha Herath

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) Chairman Charitha Herath on Wednesday (15) said a letter by former Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) Chairman M M C Ferdinando withdrawing a controversial statement he had made will be tabled for discussion at the next COPE meeting.

In the letter, dated June 11, Ferdinando had withdrawn a statement he had made at a COPE meeting held on June 10.

Ferdinando resigned as CEB chairman on Monday (13) after contradictory statements he had made about a renewable energy deal with India’s Adani group made headlines and almost caused an international incident.

He went on record at the June 10 COPE meeting that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had told him that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had pressured him to hand over a wind power project to Adani, a claim that was swiftly denied by President Rajapaksa.

The statement was widely publicised both in Sri Lanka and India, where Congress member Rahul Gandhi criticised Modi and claimed that the ruling Bharatiya Janatha Party (BJP)’s cronyism has “crossed the Palk Strait”.

Following the president’s denial of Ferdinando’s claim, the ex-CEB chief withdrew his statement to COPE, claiming that he had made the remark in a moment of pressure and emotion.

“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.

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/Jun15/2022)

Comments (3)

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  1. Bhagawaan says:

    No one in such a position makes any statement that has ramifications, especially involving Mr Gota,
    It is very likely he was threatened to resign and asked to withdraw

    It should be invested, truth will set free everyone,
    Adjust the truth for benefits will always take all of us deeper into the hell

  2. Cholmondeley Pinto says:

    COPE do not waste you time. Do not let JVP run your agenda. You have more important matters that you need to attend to.

  3. Dickie bird says:

    A Chairman can not behave in this manner. cause damage and then withdraw what was said. This is kiss and tell.
    Hold back all his emoluments and need to be taken to task.
    COPE need to make stern recommendations.

View all comments (3)

Comments (3)

Your email address will not be published.

  1. Bhagawaan says:

    No one in such a position makes any statement that has ramifications, especially involving Mr Gota,
    It is very likely he was threatened to resign and asked to withdraw

    It should be invested, truth will set free everyone,
    Adjust the truth for benefits will always take all of us deeper into the hell

  2. Cholmondeley Pinto says:

    COPE do not waste you time. Do not let JVP run your agenda. You have more important matters that you need to attend to.

  3. Dickie bird says:

    A Chairman can not behave in this manner. cause damage and then withdraw what was said. This is kiss and tell.
    Hold back all his emoluments and need to be taken to task.
    COPE need to make stern recommendations.