The three-member committee appointed to look into whether the country and the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) had incurred a loss due to the tender procedure followed in the supply of coal to the Lakvijaya coal power plant in Norochcholai will be studying the data available and produce a report by July 29.
When queried as to whether the committee would be studying data with regards to the future tender of the tender concerning which the Supreme Court, recently directed Lanka Coal Company Limited to terminate the contract it had entered into with Swiss Singapore Overseas Enterprises Private Limited for the supply of coal to Lakvijaya power plant in Norochcholai and call for fresh bids for the supply of coal by following a competitive bidding procedure, Member of the said Committee, Emeritus Professor at the Department of Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Moratuwa, Prof. KKYW Perera declined to further comment.
The opposition has, meanwhile alleged that Minister of Megapolis and Western Development Patali Champika Ranawaka had been directly involved in making the arrangements to award the controversial tender as it had taken place during his tenure as the then Minister of Power and Renewable Energy. They highlighted that the deal had, however, been inked and finalized by Minister of Power and Renewable Energy Ranjith Siyambalapitiya. The Supreme Court in the opinion authored by Chief Justice K. Sripavan observed that the award of the tender shocked the conscience of the Court especially as it involved public funds. The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna’s Voice Against Corruption recently lodged a complaint at the Anti-Corruption Secretariat regarding the coal scam. The Anti-Corruption Front (ACF) criticized the appointed of the said so called committee as a blatantly shameful attempt by the CEB and the Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy to hide their mistakes.
The committee was appointed on July 13, under the directions of Siyambalapitiya.
The fundamental rights application in the aforementioned case had been filed by Noble Resources International Private Limited.
Prof. Lakshman R. Watawala and Prof. Janaka B. Ekanayake are the other members appointed to the committee.
Advisor to the ACF, Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon noted that even though the Auditor General too had shown that a fraud had taken place in the purchase of coal, the relevant State and Government authorities were disputing the Auditor General’s calculations on the basis of the alleged use of a flawed formula.
Yet for four months neither the CEB nor the Ministry have replied to the Auditor General’s query, he explained.
“This three-member committee will attempt to state that both the Supreme Court and the Auditor General are wrong. The Government did the same with regards to the Central Bank bonds scam. We vehemently condemn this,” he pointed out.