SL foreign service involved in the flesh trade? – The Island

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Democratic Left Front (DLF) Secretary General Vasudeva Nanayakkara, MP, said yesterday (20) that the UNP sold the Sapugaskanda urea plant to a foreign buyer who set it up in an Arab country. the buyer had reinstalled the machines and today Sri Lanka has procured urea from this plant, Nanayakkara said.

The veteran politician called what the UNP had done a crime against the nation. The former minister said it when The Island asked him for an explanation of his brief exchange with UNP national list MP Wajira Abeywardena on Saturday (19) during the fifth day of the 2023 budget debate. MP Nanayakkara said those who sold national property also precious owed the country an apology as the unfortunates struggled to deal with the ever-worsening economic, political and social crisis.

When MP Abeywardena recalled the assassination of Industry Development Minister CV Gooneratne about a week after he informed Parliament of a deal struck between Sri Lanka and an American company to produce fertilizer here, Nanayakkara said: “Who sold the urea plant as scrap, please tell us?”

MP Abeywardena only said that Sri Lanka had a lot of scrap metal that needed to be disposed of. UNPer refrained from answering MP Nanayakkara’s question. An LTTE suicide bomber killed Minister Gooneratne and 22 others, including his wife, in Ratmalana on June 7, 2000.

Abeywardena entered Parliament in July this year, filling the vacancy created by the election of Ranil Wickremesinghe as President to complete the remainder of Gotabaya Rajapaksas’ five-year term. Nanayakkara alleged that the 2023 budget, presented by President Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as finance minister, on November 14, revealed that the latter’s strategies had not changed. It was clear that the incumbent government was taking advantage of the current economic crisis and planning to get rid of many for-profit state-owned companies, the former minister in charge of water supply and sanitation said. The Island.

Lawmaker Nanayakkara quit the Cabinet after then President Gotabaya Rajapaksa sacked his Cabinet colleagues Wimal Weerawansa and Udaya Gammanpila in the first week of March this year over their opposition to the sale of 40% of the shares of Yugadanavi power station at the American company New Fortress Energy. Responding to another question, MP Nanayakkara, who represented the Uththara Lanka Sabhagaya, said that its members would not vote for the budget. The outfit consists of lawmakers who entered Parliament on the SLPP ticket and National List MP Ven. Athuraliye Rathana of Our People Power Party (OPPP).

At the beginning of MP Abeywardena’s speech, he faced a wave of political assassinations and assassination attempts, starting with the grenade attack on the meeting of the UNP group in Parliament, chaired by the President of the JR Jayewardena in August 1987. After referring to the April 2019 Easter Sunday carnage, lawmaker Abeywardena asked if Sri Lanka’s economy was controlled by outside elements. The former minister stressed the responsibility of the Central Bank to work in accordance with government policies, whether good or bad.

MP Nanayakkara inquired about the beneficiaries of the sale of the urea plant. Geologist Dulip Jayawardena, involved in examining the Sapugaskanda site, said the plant was built in the early 1980s by British firm Kellogg Overseas Corporation. Jayawardena said the plant built over a period of almost four years was capable of producing 980 tonnes of urea per day.

The State Fertilizer Manufacturing Corporation (SFMC) was established as a government entity under the State Industrial Corporation Act 1973 and is expected to respond to Sri Lanka’s request, the former official said.

Jayawardena pointed out how the powers that be deprived the urea factories of the raw material naphtha by exporting the same. According to him, international tenders were launched in 1986 and the factory was sold to an Indian company. Jayawardena claimed that the selling price of the urea plant which operated from 1982 to 1985 was never disclosed.