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* Former Power and Energy Minister of Sri Lanka demoted due to Indian pressure, opposition party claims
Tue, Jan 29, 2013, 08:41 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 29, Colombo: Sri Lanka's major opposition United National Party (UNP) General Secretary Tissa Attanayake says the Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka was removed from the portfolio of Minister of Power and Energy due to pressure from India.

Minister Ranawaka was appointed as the new Minister of Technology, Research and Atomic Energy by the President yesterday.

He claimed the Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris had promised to handover the Sampur coal power plant in the Eastern Province to India. India's National Thermal Power Corporation is building a coal power plant in Sampur as a joint venture with the Ceylon Electricity Board.

Attanayake said the former Minister Ranawaka had objected to the move.

Attanayake alleged that the Sampur plant was a bribe offered to India in order to obtain its support at the UNHRC session at Geneva in March, where US plans to bring a resolution against Sri Lanka.

Minister Ranawaka, an electrical engineer by profession, was handed over a lesser important Ministry in the most recent cabinet reshuffle.

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