Yugadanavi petitions: Ministers’ affidavits unconstitutional, AG tells court
Posted on December 17th, 2021

Courtesy Adaderana

The Attorney General today (December 17) informed the Supreme Court that affidavits filed by three ministers with regard to the Fundamental Rights (FR) petitions challenging the Yugadanavi Power Plant agreement are unconstitutional.

The affidavits had been submitted by Ministers Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Wimal Weerawansa and Udaya Gammanpila.

The petitions were called before Supreme Court’s five-judge bench consisting of Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya and Justices Buwaneka Aluvihare, Priyantha Jayawardena, Vijith Malalgoda and L.T.B. Dehideniya earlier today.

The FR petitions were put forward by the Archbishop of Colombo His Eminence Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, Venerable Elle Gunawansa Thero, Samagi Jana Balawegaya, former parliamentarians of Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), Sunil Handunnetti and Wasantha Samarasinghe and a group including Ven. Bengamuwe Nalaka Thero, Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekara and Dr. Wasantha Bandara.

The petitioners have challenged the decision taken by the Cabinet of Ministers to transfer shares in West Coast Power Limited (WCP) – the owner of the 310 MW Yugadanavi Power Plant to the US-based New Fortress Energy.

The New Fortress Energy, in a statement, recently said it will acquire a 40% ownership stake in the WCP and plans to develop a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving, storage and regasification terminal located off the coast of Colombo.

The petitioners claimed that the government has not properly explained particulars of the deal even to the Cabinet of Ministers when. They also accused the government of failing to obtain the approval of the Parliament for signing the agreement in question and that the relevant share transfer process had not been carried out in accordance with a formal tender procedure.

Against this backdrop, MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake, on December 10, made a startling revelation in the House with regard to the much-disputed Yugadanavi agreement.

According to the JVP leader, the relevant deal was not signed with the United States-based New Fortress Energy Inc. but with another company affiliated to the New Fortress Energy, namely NFE Sri Lanka Power Holding LLC.

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