JVP disapproves of the role of CEB president
By Shamindra Ferdinando
Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said the government was ready to consider dissenting views expressed by various parties critical of the Yugadanavi power plant deal in Kerawalapitiya.
The Gampaha district SLPP heavyweight said the government would take, what he called a relatively good decision after considering concerns expressed about the deal.
Minister Ranatunga said so yesterday (15) after the opening of the new Samurdhi bank in Kerawalapitiya.
In addition to the JVP and the SJB, a section within the SLPP parliamentary group, as well as Ven. Athureliye Rathana Thera of Ape Janabala Pakshaya has launched a high profile campaign against the energy accord. All of them have taken legal action against the agreement with an American company.
A nationalist civil society group, led by Dr Gunadasa Amarasekera, has also resorted to legal action.
Declaring the government’s willingness to reach a consensus with the dissident group, Minister Ranatunga said copies of the agreement had been made available to the leaders of the constituent parties of the government to facilitate a dialogue.
JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake tabled the Yugadanavi secret accord in parliament on December 10. On September 17, 2021, the government finalized the deal but, despite repeated requests, refrained from tabling it in parliament.
Minister Ranatunga said party leaders could express their views on the issue under consideration. If the Yugadanavi deal could bring relief to the people, the government should move forward, lawmaker Ranatunga said, stressing the importance for relevant ministries to educate the public on the pros and cons of the deal. .
Minister Ranatunga said continuous accidental explosions caused by domestic gas cylinders were also a major problem. Once the investigations into the incidents are completed, the attorney general could initiate legal proceedings, the minister said.
The minister alleged that the opposition was trying to exploit current developments to their advantage.
Yesterday (15), former JVP MP Sunil Handunetti told The Island that consultations between political parties represented in the government parliamentary group as well as others in parliament should have taken place before the deal was signed.
Alleging that the Yugadanavi agreement was nothing more than a clandestine operation, the former chairman of the Committee of Public Enterprises (COPE) Handunetti requested the justification of the chairman of the CEB, MC Ferdinando, signed as witness in his capacity as advisor to the Ministry of Finance.
Pointing out that Ferdinando said at a press conference hosted by the Presidential Media Division (PMD) that the signing of the deal was delayed pending approval from the attorney general, Handunetti urged the government to explain the developments following cabinet approval. Secretary of the Treasury SR Attygalle to sign what has been called a framework agreement on behalf of Sri Lanka.
The role of the GA as well as the government’s chief evaluator in the Yugadanavi project should be examined, the former MP said.
Handunetti said the government had been in an indecent haste to finalize the deal. Referring to a memorandum from the finance ministry cabinet dated September 6, Handunetti said the cabinet authorized Attygalle on July 5, 2021 and the framework agreement signed on July 7, 2021. The sale / purchase agreement d The actions were signed more than a week after the relevant cabinet memorandum, said the former lawmaker, adding that the government had acted swiftly and decisively on the issue after the change in the finance ministry in July this year.
Responding to another question, Handunetti pointed out that until JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake presented a certified copy of the deal to parliament on December 10, the government made a desperate attempt to suppress it.
Before the signing of the Yugadanavi agreement, the government appointed MC Ferdinando as president of the CEB and engaged in a clandestine operation for more than five months until the disclosure of the agreement. Handunetti said the Yugadanavi deal was as bad as the Treasury bill scams, if not much worse, as officials manipulated the entire political and administrative setup to achieve their sinister goal.
The former MP said the SLPP could not suppress the horrible truth by proroguing Parliament. The Yugadanavi fiasco must be seen against other major issues, including the decision to pay China $ 6.7 million after rejecting the shipment of carbon dioxide and the import of liquid fertilizer from China. India in controversial circumstances.
The JVPer said the government alone had caused so much unrest at a time when the country struggled to meet its financial obligations, both here and abroad.