Emergency power generation under a cloud

Yahapalana associate slams ‘diesel mafia’


By Shamindra Ferdinando

A group of influential CEB officials has been accused of exploiting a sharp drop in hydro power generation capacity to go for emergency power purchasing agreement at exorbitant cost under controversial circumstances.

Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon of the Anti-Corruption Front (ACF) told The Island that the politically influenced group had manipulated the entire process to its advantage.

The ACF campaigned for Maithripala Sirisena at the January 2015 presidential polls.

Alleging that those who had been responsible for resuming coal purchases from Swiss Singapore Overseas Enterprise (Pte) Ltd under hotly disputed terms were behind the emergency diesel power purchasing scheme.

Responding to accusations, Deputy Power and Energy Minister Ajith Perera told The Island that there was absolutely no basis for the ACF accusation. Kalutara District MP Perera claimed that Secretary to the Ministry Dr B.M.S. Batagoda had followed special procedures in respect of emergency power purchases.

Perera said efficient officers were being unfairly targeted. Although, Deputy Minister Perera who is currently in South Korea wanted The Island to contact Dr. Batagoda, our attempts were in vain.


Tennakoon insisted that those who had been involved in the latest manipulation prepared the project proposal on Dec 28, 2016. Alleging that the previous Rajapaksa administration and the present yahapalana lot are equally corrupt, Tennakoon pointed out that the CEB on the following day called for tenders to obtain 60 MW for a period of six months.

Tennakoon claimed that a commitment had been made amounting to Rs 5,000 mn without following proper procedures. The anti-crime activist alleged the possibility of the controversial cabinet paper in respect of emergency power purchasing being prepared ahead of the Dec 28 meet.

Responding to a query, Tennakoon said that having accepted the tenders up-to 10 am, January 16, the officials on the following day announced the selection of the winning bidder and measures to generate electricity before Feb 6.

Tennakoon claimed that the generator was already on on its way here when the cabinet approved the emergency purchasing of power on January 26.

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