Concerns addressed at Party Leaders Meeting

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa explains a point at the UPFA Party Leaders Meeting held on Thursday. Also present are President - Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Finance Minister - Basil Rajapaksa and Leader of the House, MEP Leader and Education Minister - Dinesh Gunawardena.

It was agreed during a meeting with the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Party Leaders, under the patronage of the President and the Prime Minister, to review the Cabinet Memorandum on the Yugadanavi Thermal Power Plant and make suitable recommendations.

The discussion lasted over four hours and was attended by leaders of all political parties affiliated to the Government, its representatives and a group of ministers.

Addressing the media after the discussion, General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, State Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara said that Minister of Finance, Basil Rajapaksa had instructed him to submit proposals on the agreement with New Fortress Energy of USA regarding the Yugadanavi Power Plant LNG operations.

There were about 12 points on the agenda to be discussed on various matters regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, organic fertilizer issue, Yugadanavi and issues that have arisen at the Colombo Port.

However, while the Yugadanavi issue was the last issue on the agenda to be discussed, Minister Wimal Weerawansa had requested the President to take up that issue first as it has been described as the most urgent issue in the country.

Accordingly, his request was granted and the issue was taken up for discussion at length.

Speaking on the matter, Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa had said that the agreement signed on Yugadanavi was only the initial agreement and had requested the UPFA to submit their proposals on the matter. It was mentioned at the meeting that there are two more agreements to be signed in this regard.

Meanwhile, Secretary of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Attorney-at-Law MP Sagara Kariyawasam, confirmed that all concerns regarding the transparency of the Yugadanavi power plant agreement were resolved during the extensive discussion.

“We discussed the Yugadanavi Power plant agreement and the leaders of the other parties affiliated to the Government needed certain clarifications regarding it. Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa explained the matter to them in detail,” he said.

Minister Rajapaksa clarifying the matter assured the Party Leaders that the agreement was beneficial to the country financially, contrary to negative views being falsely spread.

Meanwhile, Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena said that it was decided to meet the trade unions and explain the matters regarding the Yugadanavi power plant.

However, the lengthy discussion eventually ended without a specific decision being reached. Meanwhile, the Government’s allied parties are scheduled to hold a meeting in Colombo on the Yugadanavi agreement and other issues.