Former President denies allegations on Norochcholai

Norochcholai_Coal_Power_Plant_Sri_Lanka_to_Supply_300MW_Electricity_Shortly_as_First_Phase_Completes_2Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has denied allegations that the original estimate for the first phase of the Norochcholai coal power project had been ‘bumped up’ to USD 455 million from USD 300 million to pocket the extra money.

Rajapaksa’s office noted that at a media briefing last Friday, former president Chandrika Kumaratunga alleged that members of the Rajapaksa government had earned a commission of Rs. 15 billion from the Norochcholai coal power project.

The same charge was made by honorable minister Champika Ranawaka in his book ‘Alapalu Arthikaya’ released during the presidential election campaign, where he said that the original estimate for the first phase of the Norochcholai project was USD 300 million but that within a few months it had been bumped up to USD 455 million with the insinuation that the difference of USD 155 million (more than Rs. 15 billion) was pocketed by the Rajapaksas.

Rajapaksa’s office said that the original estimate for Phase I of the Norochcholai power plant submitted on 9 June 2005 was 398 million USD – not 300 million as stated by minister Ranawaka.

“After discussions in July 2005, the estimate was formally revised to USD 471 million on 30 August 2005. This revision took place during Mrs Kumaratunga’s tenure and minister Ranawaka’s charge of bumping up the estimate so as to pocket the difference can apply only to her government,” Rajapaksa’s office said in a statement.

The statement added that after the Rajapaksa government came into power, a cabinet appointed negotiating committee comprising of Messrs S.B.Divaratne, Lakshman R.Watawala and M.M.C. Ferdinando negotiated a lower price of USD 450 million.

Rajapaksa’s office said that further debate on the allegations can continue once Mrs Kumaratunga explains to the public how the estimate for the Norochcholai power plant went up from 398 to 477 million USD in less than three months between June and  August 2005. (Colombo Gazette)


  1. OK every politician and every president in SL is Corrupt and really did nothing accept steeling. However Rajapaksa did much more while others can only dream of.

  2. According to Rajapakse, this contract was established under Chandrika Kumaratunga and under her the figure increased from $398m (not300) to $477m in 2005, but reduced to $455m under Rajapakse.
    So Chandrika has to answer her own allegation as to who received the commission and Ranawaka has to explain why he is blaming the wrong President?

  3. no it isn,t of course .not ….but the blind eye he turned to thugs who got rich off his protection is .. the streets of Tangalle are safer now ,now he is no longer the big boss.Many thugs have lost his protection and so are wary of making a high profile…press is free ..what is NOT to like now …freedom and democracy are delicate flowers and must be nurtured carefully ..his return would throw those flowers on the scrap heap

  4. While the politicians are engaged in a verbal battle it is interesting to hear what the engineers have to say. I believe this was a turnkey project. Who was the Project Manager? Did the bid documents clearly spell out the performance and project requirements and not partially leading to design changes and claims? Who reviewed and checked the documents. Since this was CEBs first Coal Plant I don’t believe they had the necessary experience to administer the project. Taking graduate level classes won’t help. Prudent option should have been to spend few dollars and hire a qualified Int. consulting firm with the required experience to be assist. This way country would have saved couple of Mn.

  5. Accussation must be substantiated and accountable otherwise they should be sued. This back stabbing without evidence is killing the country. Politicians are abusing and using this lies for political advantage like the ltte during the war to date. If CID and FCID cannot find any evidence, than Kumaratunga knows something more and not telling the truth, perjury.

  6. It is proper to call on the Chinese Embassy to deny any
    commission, if they dare to do so, as the FCID will
    eventually come up with details. These comm. has to
    returned to the State coffers – before MR can even think of holding ANY ruling post.
    As MRs neighbours are plucking his young coconuts
    unlawfully, he has decided to re-enter politics, as reported elsewhere ! !

  7. Dear Mahinda, You were the Prime Minister during this time (2004 April to 2005 November). Did you know about this anomaly then as the PM and did you do anything about it? When you guys in power no virtues only greed. When you are out of power blame game. The bottom line is all of you, including Chandrika and all others who will come in future will use your political power for your personal benefits. It is really disgusting and this is why who ever can leave our good mother land in sheer disgust of our “deshapaluwos”.

  8. Rulers robbing the countries is not unusual. Portugese, Dutch, British and rulers afterwards rob the country. We have to forgo all these corruptions

  9. We all know Rajapaksa is not saint. Earlier Gamini Dissanayake pocketed billions of rupees from accelerated Mahaweli Project but it was nothing unusual in Sri Lanka. Chandrika consumed the Presidential fund of more than 400 million plus Tsunami money, still normal thing in Sri Lanka. So why Rajapaksa corruption is unusual, is it because he defeated Tamil Tiger Terrorists??

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