Sri Lanka will buy 40,000 metric tons of diesel and 40,000 metric tons from the Indian Oil Corporation (A disturbing News item)
Posted on February 6th, 2022

Dr Sudath Gunasekara

The first question I ask the Minister in charge of the Electricity Board is as to why he skipped the CPC and go to the IOC for such a large volume of fuel from a foreign Agency that will drain millions of Foreign Exchange? I know he will say the CPC refused.

Now that already the Government has been compelled to sign an agreement with the IOC on the Trinco Oil Farm and the Harbour, I wonder whether this is the next step in handing over Trinco  Oil Tank Farm  A Marvel in the East’ (as one writer has described it) and the Trico Harbour, including 85 acres of land adjoining the second best natural harbour in the world and the best in the East,  to India, the much-awaited Dream by India for more than the past75 years. Dravida Munnetra Kasagam also once agitated to annex it, to India as their future Port of EELAM. In that backdrop now I suspect this deal as a part of a subversive agenda on the part of India to get a tighter grip of this Island nations security and the economy defeating all attempts by India’s arch-rival China and the USA currently in tow with India on Indo-Pacific Quadrilateral Program, that could disappear at any moment the USA finds a better ally in the region than India or the Indian interests overtake those of the USA. A tighter legal hold on Trinco will be a geopolitical asset to India to control not only Sri Lanka but also the entire Indo Pacific region from a strategic angle. India’s strength there might definitely paralyze the territorial integrity, sovereignty, and political independence of this Island nation, in view of its focal importance on the great East-West naval route. It is in this backdrop and long-term security concerns one has to look at both these deals and not from the point of view of short-term implied benefits.

To me, both these agreements by the Sri Lankan government are extremely short-sighted political bungles that lack political and strategic wisdom and maturity or far-sightedness. It reminds me of the story about chopping the goat’s neck to save the pot that we have learned in grade 11 in the village school. I can understand the stands of the two respective Ministers, each driven by the urge to overdo the other arguing for his case. But surely what the others including the Defense and Trade Minister were doing. Well even if the whole Cabinet gave its nod why the Prime Minister, the senior elder statesman or the President the Head of the Cabinet brought their attentions to these imminent serious long- term economic, security, and geopolitical implications and asked the two Ministers to settle it among them as an internal issue by asking the Electricity Minister to first, settle the 97 million bills with the CPC. That would have settled the problem and the CPC would have then supplied the fuel required.

However, now that the government has got caught in the trap let us wait and see as to how they will come out of it. It is said that there are hundreds of Advisers to the Ministries, the Prime Minister and the President, led by a Chief Advisor. What the hell they had been doing when the government is getting trapped like this. Were they sleeping or just planting the stake to save their positions? In this scenario, I think not only the Cabinet but also all these Royal Advisors are responsible to the nation for all the future repercussions that will befall the nation on account of these two idiotic Agreements.

As I see it as a layman, both these agreements are clever manipulations of the Indian Kautilyan bureaucracy. They first signed the Trinco Oil Farm Agreement and put the first noose. Then they agreed to give a US $ 500 Million swaps as an aid to help Sri Lanka to meet its Dollar crisis. But they were very careful to tie up that 500 m with the purchase of fuel from India. Third, the IOC agreed to provide fuel to CEB, which they refused at first and set off the bills against that 50 million swaps. The money is Indian, fuel to is Indian, IOC Indian and finally, the profit with interest for the loan as well as the fuel is back to the Indian coffers. See how nicely and cleverly they have manipulated it and how our entire Cabinet and the bureaucracy have been caught up in the Indian trap?

Why did the energy Ministry surpass the CPC to purchase fuel from the IOC

Isn’t this surprising and shocking and extremely dangerous that the Energy Ministry has decided to bypass the CPC and has decided to purchase its fuel requirements from the IOC an Indian agency.  I can’t understand why the Cabinet has given its nod without studying the pros and cons including economic losses to the country and its serious long-term implications down the Kautilyan line. Why can’t the Ministry of Energy buy this from CPC? So that the profit will accrue to this country, instead of it going to India and draining the total 500 m US$ credit facility given by India back to India with interest? Is there a deal behind this as well? Worth looking in to, by those interested and competent.

The Energy Minister in my view should have,

1 First Settle the outstanding bills with the CPC Rs. 90 billion due to fuel already purchased

and

2 Thereafter buy the diesel and Petrol from the CPC. So that the profit from this deal will not go to India but CPC will get it. The CEB will also function with CPC fuel and CPC a Sri Lankan business concern will also prosper and contribute to economic development at home instead of funding the econ development of India, with the loan money taken from them going back to India. CEB purchasing fuel from CPC means it leads to development at home and profit for the country.

Does the Cabinet too want to close down the CPC and hand over the entire fuel distribution business to the IOC?

Does the Cabinet too want to close down the CPC and hand over the entire fuel distribution business to the IOC? The first mistake in this game was done by Ranil’s government in2002. Firstly, by handing over the distribution of fuel to IOC and Secondly, handing over the Trinco Oil Farm of 101 Tanks each with a capacity of 20,000 Metric Tons totaling 1.2 Million MT. Mount Batton constructed these tanks in 1927 -32 to store all the needs to meet the requirements of the whole of southeast Asia. We never made use of these tanks after 1948. What an asset and an economic marvel for Sri Lanka.

Doesn’t this show that our Cabinet is more concerned about the IOC than the CPC and the well-being of Indians rather than Sri Lankans at Home? One should not get surprised if we hear next that they have decided to hand over the CPC as well, with all its assets to India. The next step in their march to vistas of prosperity will be handing over all 101 Tanks, the harbour, and the 85 acres around it to India.?

Now that Trinco oil Farm and the Harbour and port of Hambantota, Colombo West Terminal and Kankasanture Airport and Declaration of the North and East as Traditional Homeland of South Indian Tamils, Tamil is made an Official Language all over Sri Lanka with Tamil only in the North and East, while even in India it is not, though they have 70 million Tamils in Tamilnadu alone and all illicit Tamils in Sri Lanka are given citizenship by JR/ Rajiv Accord it is only left for Tamils to declare unilaterally EELAM on this soil.

The relevant News item on the Cabinet decision is given below.

ECONOMYNEXT 2.2 2022.

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will buy 40,000 metric tonnes of diesel and 40,000 metric tonnes of petrol from the Indian Oil Corporation following discussions, a government’s statement said.

 The Ministry of Energy has discussed with the Indian Oil Company to procure” the fuel, the statement said.

Indian Oil Corp has agreed to supply the fuel.

The cabinet of ministers had given the go-ahead to purchase the fuel.

The statement did not say whether a 500 million dollar credit line given by India to Sri Lanka to buy fuel will be used. (Colombo/Feb01/2022)”

Sri Lanka to purchase 40,000 Metric Tons of diesel from IOC

Tuesday, February 1, 2022 – 11:02

Local

The Cabinet of Ministers has approved to procure 40,000 metric tons of diesel and 40,000 metric tons of petrol from the Indian Oil Company.

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