31 May, 2020

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Ministry Of Development Strategies & International Trade Response To Prof. Kumar David’s Allegations

Reference is made to the article that appeared in the Colombo Telegraph website on 17th February, 2019 captioned “Mangala & Malik: Shady or Senseless; Ministers acting like headless chickens and/or crooked shysters; Mangala and Malik: Shady or Senseless? ” authored by Kumar David. We wish to assert that the article, and in particular the segment titled, “Gigantic blunders loom in the power sector”, contains many factual inaccuracies, false interpretations and baseless allegations, creating a wrong perception in the minds of the reader. Hence, the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade wishes to respond clarifying the matters pertaining to Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) referred to therein.

Malik Samarawickrama

The article alleges that the “… two ministries involved in awarding power and energy contracts are Malik Samarwickrama’s International Trade Ministry and Ravi Karunanayake’s Power Ministry”. However, we wish to clarify that our Ministry’s role is only that of a facilitator, both from a development strategy and foreign direct investment (FDI) perspective. The decisions on the establishment of power plants, their structures, and power purchase agreements are dealt with by the relevant statutory and regulatory authorities and the line Ministry, i.e., CEB, PUCSL and the Ministry of Power & Energy and Business Development.

We reiterate that this Ministry’s involvement on LNG is supporting the government initiative towards introduction of LNG into Sri Lanka as a new source of energy to the country’s energy mix, taking into consideration the long-term need for the energy security of the country. Since this has to be done through FDI, this Ministry has clearly articulated that such introduction must be done based on all-encompassing feasibility and other related studies and taking pragmatic ground-level conditions into account. It is in this context that this Ministry has, and will continue to, support and facilitate the Government-to-Government (‘G2G’) initiative for LNG Cooperation on a trilateral basis between the Governments of Sri Lanka, India and Japan, which has been continuing for over the last two years.

This Ministry and the Minister categorically deny supporting the proposition of having two or more floating or land-based storage and regasification facilities (FSRU). Our position has been consistently and clearly articulated in several observations made to the Cabinet and Cabinet Sub-committees, when the subject of LNG Introduction or related matters arose.

This Ministry categorically denies any involvement whatsoever with the South Korean proposal and the author’s allegations that this Ministry champions this proposal are frivolous and baseless. Neither the Board of Investment nor this Ministry has received, or is privy to, any such proposal. On the contrary, this Ministry has expressed its concerns on, and articulated the negative impacts of, having more than one Floating (or other) Storage & Regassification Facility by way of several observations made to the Cabinet and Cabinet Sub-Committees.

The feasibility of having a Floating Storage & Regassification Facility (FSRU) and associated infrastructure based on a PPP Model on a trilateral, G2G, FDI model is being diligently deliberated with the engagement of all relevant stakeholders; i.e., line ministries and statutory/regulatory entities. Expert assistance is obtained where needed. The progress upto now is satisfactory and a final decision is expected in the near future. In the meantime, a FDI-based storage and regassification facility in Hambantota to cater to the expected port-related industries is also being considered. The Ministry reiterates that all such projects would be FDI-based and subjected to diligent evaluation, and would most likely be based on PPP models.

While clarifying our Ministry’s position and categorically denying the frivolous allegations made in the referenced article, we wish to reiterate that the introduction of LNG to Sri Lanka should be fast-tracked, based on comprehensive feasibility studies and taking into account country’s hydro capacities (with due recognition of its fluctuation and variability), as well as the potential exploitation of indigenous gas reserves expected to be in 5-7 years’ time.

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Latest comments

  • 13
    2

    I note the Ministry’s categorical denial of “any involvement whatsoever with the South Korean proposal”. This is good to hear. My sources (note plural) said otherwise. Let us wait for more information to seep out. Certainly we should all be glad if the Ministry’s version proves correct.

    Prof. Kumar David

    • 4
      0

      Malik talks in the last sentence about “potential exploitation of indigenous gas reserves expected to be in 5-7 years’ time.” Lanka has massive gas and oil reserves shared with India in the Mannar Basin.
      But this is all kept a secret, its Bondscam Ravi K’s property to sell off or contract out to US, French and Indian Oil companies while Sri Lankans are kept in the dark. The country is at the mercy of foreign “experts” who do fake development in the global south.

      There has been no investment in university and higher education, research and development or forward thinking in Sri Lanka on how to sustainably use Lanka’s MASSIVE marine resources , live and dead, (Fisheries, as well as, LNG in Manner basia and mineral deposits in Bay of Bengal.)
      What happened to the Ocean University?! Sri Lanka needs marine and harbour engineers, marine oil and gas exploration capacity but instead all the youth are going overseas to university..

      • 0
        1

        Dodo/dinuk/donstanley/whatever,
        So, apart from multiple personality trolling disorders, you are now an expert on gas reserves? From which orifice, may I ask?

    • 2
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      Sri Lanka urgently needs an Integrated Marine Resources sector Development Policy.
      The so called Minister for Development Strategies and International trade is intellectually and morally bankrupt and relies on fake foreign experts from US, France, China and Japan to tell it what to do.

      Sri Lanka needs a marine resources sector and development policy – that integrates analysis and a road map to develop and UP-SCALE Lanka’s
      1. Indian Ocean Trade and Logistics and ports and security hub status
      2. Fisheries and aquaculture industry upscaling
      3. Oil and Gas sustainable use
      4. Marine mineral use
      5. Sustainable marine ecosystem management

  • 6
    2

    What this ministry try to say is “Malik did not get the cut, ask Ravi”

  • 6
    0

    Trying to establish the innocence. May be one in hundreds deals which appears to have gone clean

  • 5
    1

    Ministries may respond to different allegations. But, even when PResidential commissions find fault with politicians and buaerucrats nothing happen. right now Kiriella nee perera says Ranil or his gang recognize drug drug addicts in the cabinet or inthe govt by looking at their face and they need a list of those.

    • 2
      0

      Sorry Kiriella says Ranil or Kiriella can not recognize drug addicts and gamblers in the govt by looking at their face. Drug ADDICTS CAN BE RECOGNIZED BY LOOKING AT THEIR FACE.

  • 9
    1

    The essay by Prof: Kumar David has touched a raw nerve.
    Minister Samarawickrema appears to be outraged; Only recently, in DEC:2018, he categorically stated that he does not want to be in the Cabinet; But he found himself in the cabinet!
    Like Alice in Wonderland this is getting curiouser and curiouser…..

    • 1
      1

      Plato,
      .
      I know Prof. Kumar David almost entirely through his writing. Google YouTube and his name, and one can hear him speaking as well. As an engineer, he’s in a class of his own.
      .
      When I was in Peradeniya, I was in the Arts Faculty and although I had a good enough idea of what was going on in the rest of the University, there certainly must have been unaware of many things. Tell me, Plato, was Prof. David around in Peradeniya in my time, which was 11982 to 1986?
      .
      I searched the Internet, and to whatever I found about him personally, I inserted links here:
      .
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/mangala-malik-shady-or-senseless/
      .
      A few of the facts surprised even me. That was not because I had ever under-rated him, but because I hadn’t expected such versatility in anybody. But even that may tend to suggest that this is a “jack of all trades”; the reality seems to be that he had mastered all that he ever cared to take an interest in.
      .
      A truly great man!

  • 5
    2

    Electricity is the best hunting ground for commissions and RW correctly identified the best person to takeover the power industry.
    Continue with the excellent work RW!
    You will go down in history as the greatest Prime Ministerial facilitator for corruption.

  • 4
    0

    Look at the Horayaka Malik it is all written on his face, he must have authored this denial when[edited out]

    • 1
      0

      When the cases were proceeding in the Supreme Court during the constitutional crisis, politicians of all hues were present in the court. Seeing the duo of Malik S and Ravi K seated together right in front of the Judges some young UNP lawyers commented “why have these haalparuwas come here ” fearing that the very presence of the duo might prejudice the minds of their Lordships. However a landmark judgment was delivered much to the relief of the lawyers.

  • 1
    0

    Grid Interconnection with India: India haters are going to ask for my blood for this suggestion. We should have a power interconnection with India with a well thought out agreement covering the reasonable interests of both sides. Bahrain has a interconnection with the huge GCC grid and blackouts and even localized power outages have been a thing of the past in this small island since the commissioning of that for the past 10 years or so.
    .
    For Sri Lanka, India is like our mother – our Bharata Matha. If people accept culture, language, arts and last but not least the great Dhamma expounded by Buddha from India why not electrical power? Besides, this makes great technical sense for a comparatively small system like ours.

    • 0
      0

      Edwin,
      Prophets are not popular in their own countries. I fear you are banging your head against the brick wall of brain-washed baiyas who sincerely believe that the whole of India is a poverty stricken toilet-less wasteland . Full marks for trying, anyway.

      • 0
        0

        Thanks Old codger, as long as there are politicians like Booruwansa it will not happen

    • 0
      0

      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

  • 0
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

  • 0
    1

    Prof Kumar David has a sharp mind and is a stickler for details.
    We, layLankans, have faith in his views/judgement when it comes to generation and distribution of electricity.

  • 1
    0

    It seems that Power and Energy Ministry is shifting its emphasis from Renewable sources to the traditional sources. Malik Sam cannot be simply a facilitator unless such facilitation is one in which is “agreeable” to him. Anyway Malik, thanks for the prompt response, allowing us to use our own sense of judgement in this matter. From his perspective “silence” would have been a better option. Any reader can detect the gaps and chores of his statement.

  • 1
    0

    This is outrageous. Whom does he expect to believe him?

    TNA threatened to sue Yahapalanaya after trying all methods to stop the iron cage deals. Then Yahapalanaya stopped, but stopped building the houses because of the anger of they were not allowed to go ahead with fraudulent tenderless housing process. Many months, many minister spent in China, including Malik, before the Hangbanktota lease was sold. 4 Countries gave Mangala info of $18B. Mangala only brought only the Foreign Exchange Fraud Amnesty Act in 2017. The entire cabinet has to go.

    CBSL blamed 52 days goverment selling $ to boost the Rupee exchange rate. Now Media is reporting that is what the goverment is doing. Further, after Lankawe credit rating has fallen in the bottom of the well, treasury is issuing large amount of foreign bonds to borrow and straighten the rupee. This is a back and forth deal selling dollar and borrowing then. At this exchange rate is this the time to get FDI? At the time of poor exchange isn’t the investors buy large shares locally with few dollars of FDI? Why didn’t Yahapalanaya didn’t worry about FDI all these but was borrowing from China?

  • 2
    0

    Right now, CT is the only forum we have to vent our frustrations about all what’s happing in the country. All are real bastards, we thought Sirisena and Ranil might be good but all turned out be ace crooks and criminals. A person, who tested the waters, could say, there wouldn’t be any good hope for this God blessed country and it’s good people until these crooks – Sirisena, Ranil and MR, and their boots lickers are chased away for good. China’s costs has gone up, all those foreign firms invested there are closing down and looking for alternative places to set up shops, Sri Lanka is a good bat for them but they wouldn’t come until these crooks are there, and better systems and climate are created. For that matter Chinese firms too are moving out to save costs. Bangladesh, Vietnam and Ethiopia are growing up with leaps and bounds by these firms investments. All and everything is in shits. Colombo airport is busting at seams, new terminal work is on hold. Colombo port has reached it’s full capacity and limits – new terminals work on hold. Power production is lagging, and they are buying emergency power at exorbitant costs. There is an extremely terrible situation for business and investment. Why all these fuss, delay and playing foot ball with all these. All because of the dirty money – the commissions. All are after dirty and filthy money. Are they going to eat gold instead of three morsels a day? Awarding tenders and contracts are not big deal or rock science, select the one which is most cost effective and gives optimum all around benefits to the country. Whereas the President, PM, ministers and officials along with their cronies and boot lickers are fighting for the piece of the pie. The country and people are their least consideration, and the people are the ones ultimately feel the pinched and pains.

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