Expressing his strong objections to the controversial LNG agreement with USA based New Fortress Energy Projects, Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila today said that he is not only ready to sacrifice his minister portfolio but any other to defeat the government ‘s attempt.
Revealing a fact in contains in the Yugadhanavi – New Fortress Energy agreement he further said that according to the agreement USA company gets a n eternal monopoly to supplky LNG posing a serous energy security risk to Sri Lanka.
” This is the first time in country’s history to be awarded to a company despite a call for tenders. Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila says.
Minister Udaya Gammanpila further stated that three cabinet ministers have now come together against a cabinet decision and that a situation has arisen where the energy minister himself is standing up against an energy project.
The Minister of Power and Energy made this observation at a public meeting organized by a group including representatives of 11 government partners at the Solis Hall in Pita Kotte today to protest against the agreement reached with an American company regarding the Yugadanavi power plant.
Speaking further the Minister said,
“Some people think that as cabinet ministers we are not acting in accordance with collective responsibility against a collective decision taken by the cabinet at this time. But I had three ministers who took such a stand during the government of President Premadasa 30 years ago. Ministers Lalith Athulathmudali and Gamini Dissanayake GM Premachandra. When they were removed from their ministerial posts, they went to the Supreme Court. The decision of the Supreme Court is that there is a sacred right to oppose such a collective decision of the Cabinet which are not favorable to the country. Accordingly, we have a sacred right.
This is a very problematic deal. No any previous government has given such a project without calling for tenders. That’s what we’re sorry about. As a result of this project, the monopoly on the supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in this country has been permanently transferred to New Fortress Energy. Most people think this has only been given for 5 years. That’s it. However, according to Article 4.2 of this agreement, the monopoly on the supply of gas has been granted forever.
If a monopoly is given to the United States in this manner, investors will not be able to make huge investments and get the gas and oil resources available in our Mannar Basin. That’s a big problem. It has been confirmed that our Mannar Basin has US $ 300 billion worth of gas and oil. We cannot do these things alone. For investors to come in, at least they should be able to sell that gas in this country.
This could lead not only to our energy security but also to a diplomatic crisis. Did we have America during the war? A tender has been awarded to a Chinese-Pakistani joint venture. These two countries were with us unconditionally during the war. It is a diplomatic mistake for us to oppose them. We must stand up against these mistakes. We are ready not only to sacrifice ministerial posts but also to make more sacrifices for this. “It simply came to our notice then.