Sri Lanka confirms India has objected to power projects given to China on Northern islands
ECONOMYNEXT- Co-Cabinet Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella confirmed that the Sri Lankan government has received complaints from the Indian Government over the power projects handed to China on islands in the sea close to the Indian coast.
He told reporters this morning that those power projects were already approved and the complaints will be looked into and discussed in detail with relevant authorities.
The Sunday Times reported that India has lodged a strong protest with Sri Lanka on the award of a tender to a Chinese company to set up three renewable energy projects in outlying islands off the Jaffna peninsula.
It reported that this decision came even before the Cabinet of Ministers decided not to give India and Japan the East Container Terminal in the Colombo Port. The protest was triggered by the Department of Information releasing the decisions of the Cabinet about the approval of the Hybrid Renewable Energy Systems in the northern islands on January 18.
The Sunday Times quoted diplomatic sources as saying that India’s protest was on the grounds that such a move would raise security concerns for it. The islands concerned are the Delft Island, Analativu and Nainativu.
The islands, separated by the Palk Strait from India, were in close proximity to India’s coast.
It was also reported that energy project’s local partner, the Ceylon Electricity Board, has finalized matters related to the project by identifying lands for the joint venture with Etechwin of China. The funds for the project are to come from the Asian Development Bank.
The USD 12 million projects have been awarded to MS/Sinosar-Etechwin Joint Venture in China based on the recommendation given by the Cabinet-Appointed Standing Committee on Procurement.
Under the project, international competitive bids were called to install hybrid renewable energy systems in the three islands utilizing accessible energy resources to improve the efficiency of the prevailing energy network.
However, the Indian High Commission in Colombo refused to comment on the matter when inquired by EconomyNext.(Colombo/Feb09/2021)
Reported by Imesh Ranasinghe