Power Secretary demands the resignation of Coal Chairman who opposed crooked deal
( January 17, 2017, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy BMS Batagoda has written to the President demanding the resisgnation of Maithri Gunaratne, Chairman of Lanka Coal Company (Pvt) Ltd, who had continiously opposed the attempts to sign an unfavourable deal to import coal to Sri Lanka.
A few days after an Auditors General report revealed that Sri Lanka lost Rs 4145.43 million in 2016 due to an agreement, signed after obtaining Cabinet approval through misleading ministers, to import coal to the country, the Ministry of Power has entered into a similar agrement.
With this agreement, the state will have to pay US $ 10 per ton above the real market price.The first ship carrying coal will arrive with a shipment between 40 000 – 60 000 tons. The Letters of credit have already opened to facilitate this deal.
Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) wrote to Presdient Maithripala Sirisena about this corrupt deal on January 04, 2016. We pointed that because of this deal Sri Lankan government has lost at least Rs 4145 million and that even the Supreme Court of the country has declared that (verdict no SCFR394/2015) that the deal must be made null and void.
CaFFE also states that three politicians, belonging to both Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and United National Party (UNP), are directly involved in this corrupt deal. ACF also wrote to the new Director General of the Bribery Commission inquiring what action has been taken on the previous complaint lodged by ACF.
With this deal members of the Good Governance government will have the opportunity to embezzle more money than what the Rajapaksa administration made in four years. Some of the so called Civil Society leaders, who claim they were behind President Sirisena’s victory say that it is OK to steal in moderation.