Adani project: Issues not over, COPE questions ex-CEB Chairman’s interpretation of private investment
Posted on June 24th, 2022

Courtesy The Island

The Committee of Public Enterprises (COPE) has decided to further examine the controversial Adani Wind and Solar power project in the Northern Sri Lanka when the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) comes up for investigation.

The COPE said so after former Chairman of CEB M.M.C. Ferdinando appeared before the parliamentary watchdog committee yesterday (23) over a statement he made at the proceedings on June 10.

The COPE has made available Ferdinando’s explanation dated June 06, 2011 addressed to the Chairman, and members of the Committee On Public Enterprises. The text of the letter: I wish to place on record my unreserved apology for the comment I made at the COPE meeting held on 10.6.201 on a matter pertaining to the M/S Adani Investment in the Country. In replying to the allegation made against me on the proposed Mannar and Pooneryn Wind and Solar Project with Adani Energy Ltd to generate Renewable energy of 500 Mw, I explained the circumstances behind the issuance of my letter dated 25.11.2021.(a copy is attached for easy reference) During this discussion I became so emotional due to pressures and unreasonable allegation levelled against me to issue this official letter of request. Therefore due to the unexpected pressure and emotions I was compelled without limitation to express the word India Agamathi balakara bawa kiwwa” (stressed by the Hon Prime Minister of India), which is totally incorrect and I wish to withdraw the relevant statement as it was a genuine mistake and was never intended to cause any embarrassment to this Committee or any party.”

Ferdinando resigned after alleging that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa intervened on behalf of the Adani Group.

During yesterday’s proceedings, the COPE highlighted a problem created by Ferdinendo’s interpretation of the Adani investment as a government to government transaction though it was not. The COPE question is how Ferdinando arrived at the conclusion in the absence of any written documentation or at least a joint statement.

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