This Cabinet paper is in violation of the “Compassionate rule- stable country” election manifesto presented by President Sirisena at the 2015 Presidential election, and the 2015 Parliamentary election manifesto of the UNP “A new country in 60 months – five point mechanism”.
In both manifestos it clearly states that power generation through coal and petroleum will be stopped immediately and instead environmentally friendly power generation methods such as wind power, sea waves, solar power and natural gas will be used for the generation of power.
The government that refused the Sampur power plant:
It is being revealed that there is a conspiracy brewing to create tensions between India and Sri Lanka by creating a fear psychosis of an impending power crisis crippling the solar power programme.
Due to the protests by the environmentalists, the government discussed with India and decided to halt the proposed coal power plant in Sampur, Trincomalee.
The Sri Lankan diplomats had informed the Indian government that due to the stance of the government against environmental pollution, they are compelled to implement the election promises made to the people.
However, subsequently Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe signed an agreement with India to establish a solar power plant in Trincomalee.
Attempt to mislead the President:
While India is maintaining a flexible policy on power generation projects, there is a sinister plan to go against government policy and get the Cabinet paper approved.
Meanwhile there are also attempts by these conspirators to mislead the President and try to change his mind.
The Power and Energy Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya and a group of engineers had met the President and told him that among coal varieties, there are varieties that are not harmful to the environment and that if required such coal power plants can be established.
When inquired, the Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Energy Dr. Sunil Batagoda said the Economic Council under the Prime Minister had notified Cabinet that coal cannot be used in any manner for power generation and that the ministry was merely conducting inspections in this regard.
He said they will notify Cabinet that if the coal power plants are operated according to specific standards using clean coal, there would be no issue.\
However, when we asked him if there was a plan to establish a coal power plant in Trincomalee with Japanese aid, he said so far he had no knowledge about such a move.