SL will not backtrack on a decision to give three renewable power projects to China

The Government yesterday said it will not backtrack on a decision to give three renewable power projects to Chinese companies, despite disapproval expressed by India. 

Cabinet Co-Spokesman Udaya Gammanpila told the weekly briefing that Power Minister Dullas Allahaperuma had not presented an alternative proposal requesting a change. 

“Therefore, the previous decision of the Cabinet stands. There has been no change,” he said. 

The Cabinet of Ministers on 18 January approved three renewable power plants on Delft Island, Analativu and Nainativu. India lodged a diplomatic protest with Sri Lanka over the move, stating strong security concerns.  

However, China on Monday said it was purely a commercial activity undertaken through an open international bidding process and that the Chinese company given the projects was not a State-owned entity. 

“It is in accordance with the international bidding procedures. As far as China is concerned, the legitimate rights and interests of enterprises, no matter from any country, should be protected, as long as the cooperation is on Sri Lankan territory, abiding by Sri Lankan laws and international rules, and being approved by the Sri Lankan government. Only by doing this, could the Government ensure the confidence of foreign investors and the continuous development of its own country,” a Chinese embassy spokesman was quoted as saying. 

The three projects are funded by the Asian Development Bank.

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