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Adani Group reacts to Sri Lanka renewable energy project controversy

"On November 24, the President summoned me after a meeting and said that India's Prime Minister Modi is pressuring him to hand over the project to the Adani group."

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By Duruthu Edirimuni Chandrasekera

Colombo:  The intent in investing in Sri Lanka is to address the needs of a valued neighbour, a “disappointed” Adani Group said while reacting to a massive controversy over an energy project in the island nation awarded to the group, after a Lankan official’s claim that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa acted under pressure from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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“The fact is that the issue has already been addressed by and within the SL government. Our intent in investing in Sri Lanka is to address the needs of a valued neighbour. As a responsible corporate, we see this as a necessary part of the partnership that our two nations have always shared. We are clearly disappointed by the detraction that seems to have come about. The fact is that the issue has already been addressed by and within the Sri Lankan Government,” said a spokesperson of the Adani Group.

This was in response to the claim by M M C Ferdinando, Chairman of Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), who resigned after saying this before a parliamentary panel that he was told by President Rajapaksa about PM Modi pressuring him to give the wind power project directly to the Adani Group.

He retracted the claim last Sunday evening with President Rajapaksa emphatically denying it.

The allegations involve a 500-Megawatt renewable energy project in Sri Lanka’s Mannar district. A video of Ferdinando’s comment at the parliamentary hearing has been widely circulated on Twitter.

“On November 24, the President summoned me after a meeting and said that India’s Prime Minister Modi is pressuring him to hand over the project to the Adani group. I said ‘this matter doesn’t concern me or the Ceylon electricity board and this consists of the board of investments’. He insisted that I look into it. I then sent a letter that the President has instructed me and that the Finance Secretary should do the needful. I pointed out that this is a government-to-government deal,” the official added.

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