Adani project row: Sri Lankan official, who claimed Prez Rajapaksa acted under pressure from PM Modi, quits

The allegations involve a 500-megawatt renewable energy energy project in Sri Lanka's Mannar district

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Monday, June 13, 2022, 04:37 PM IST
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Adani project row: Sri Lankan official, who claimed Prez Rajapaksa acted under pressure from PM Modi, quits | ANI File Photo

A day after he retracted his statement alleging that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had put pressure on Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to award a 500-megawatt renewable energy project to the Adani group, the Sri Lankan official has resigned, reported NDTV.

MMC Ferdinando, the Chairman of Sri Lanka's Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), had on Sunday retracted his claim that President Rajapaksa had told him that he was under pressure from PM Modi to give the wind power project directly to the Adani Group.

While retracting his claim, Ferdinando said he had been "overcome with emotion" because of questions suggesting wrongdoing by him.

He had made this claim on Friday at an open hearing of the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE), a parliamentary panel.

The allegations involve a 500-megawatt renewable energy energy project in Sri Lanka's Mannar district.

On Sunday, President Rajapaksa “vehemently” denied Ferdinando's allegations.

"Regarding 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. I trust responsible communication in this regard will follow," he tweeted.

Later, his office issued a longer statement.

The statement said, "Rajapaksa categorically stated that he had not at any time given authorisation to award a wind power project in Mannar to any person or any institution. The President vehemently denied the statement made by the Chairman of the Ceylon Electricity Board at the Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises in this regard.”

“Sri Lanka is currently in an acute shortage of power and President desires to expedite implementation of mega power projects as early as possible. However, no undue influence will be used in awarding such projects. Project proposals for large-scale renewable energy projects is limited, but special attention will be paid to the selection of institutions for the projects, which will be carried out strictly in accordance with the transparent and accountable system by the government of Sri Lanka," it further said.

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