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President calls for meeting with leaders of government’s allied parties

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President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has reportedly called for a meeting with the leaders of the government’s allied political parties.

The meeting, chaired by President Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, will be at 5.30 p.m. today (October 28) at the Temple Trees.

According to reports, the focus of the discussion is expected to fall on the Yugadanavi Power Plant deal with the United States-based New Fortress Energy Inc. and other related issues.

New Fortress Energy, in a recent statement, revealed that an agreement was executed with the Sri Lankan government for its investment in West Coast Power Limited (WCP) – the owner of 310 MW Yugadanavi Power Plant in Kerawalapitiya.

The firm said it will acquire a 40% ownership stake in the WCP and plans to develop a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving, storage and regasification terminal located off the coast of Colombo.

The leaders of allied parties had previously sought additional discussions regarding the power plant deal with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. In their request, the representatives said the agreement needs to be revisited and discussed and also that it should be implemented following proper tender procedure after a formal study.

However, President Rajapaksa responded that it would be more appropriate to discuss the matter with the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister first.

Later, at a meeting held on September 23, PM Mahinda Rajapaksa briefed the political party leaders of the potential consumer benefits from the operation of the Yugadanavi Power Plant.

In the meantime, the trade unions, signaling a red light to the government, have warned that they would resort to large-scale strike action if the agreement with the New Fortress Energy is not scrapped.

The convener of Joint Trade Union Alliance of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), Ranjan Jayalal said plans are already afoot to launch a series of protests on November 03 that would ‘leave the country in darkness.’

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