How our water becomes Power, is sold in Rupees, but profits go out in $: Our Debt increases
Posted on March 30th, 2019

by Garvin Karunaratne

Sri Lanka is a country which is rich in resources. Sadly we, our leaders, do not realize that we can develop these resources and save our foreign exchange.

Even our water in our streams is being converted to foreign exchange and is being sent abroad as profits by multinationals. In the Papers (the LBO) it is reported that a Japanese Firm is investing a million dollars on a mini hydro plant at Eratna in Ratnapura. It means that the waters of the Kalu Ganga will be used to generate power and sold to the Electricity Board and to people in the area and the profits, in terms of payment for the electricity consumed will be sent off to the owners of the Japanese company in hard foreign exchange.

In a recent paper of mine, I highlighted how the waters of a stream that flows into the Mahaweli River at Udugama on the Gampola Nuwara Eliya Road, are being developed into a mini hydro plant by a German company, and once it is done the power will be sold and the profits will flow in foreign exchange to Germany from Sri Lanka.

That is how our water resources are being turned into foreign exchange to be taken out of our country.

It is a simple thing to develop a mini hydro plant. Many of our tea estates had mini hydro- plants and generated power to run the factories. Instead of developing better designs we encourage foreigners to come in and convert our water resources to power, and then convert power to foreign exchange and take it away.

Currently there is a group of protesters who are very active against developing mini hydro plants. They say it is against the environment. It is up to our leaders to direct that our engineers build designs that will develop mini hydro plants that do not damage the environment and get them implemented. Mini Hydro plants can be designed and built in months, not years and we can face the onslaught of power cuts that are expected.

Garvin Karunaratne

3 Responses to “How our water becomes Power, is sold in Rupees, but profits go out in $: Our Debt increases”

  1. Dilrook Says:


    Ultimately we lose our water, forex and the future.

  2. A Concerned Citizen Says:

    Agreed with DIlrook.

    The problem is corruption and vested interests who benefit from said corruption. They block any development, competition, transparent tenders, other ideas/technology and thus any progress.

  3. Randeniyage Says:

    These “mini hydro electric plants” are all shams. They produce peanut power but enable political thieves from both camps to fatten their assets and bellies.

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