Ranil questions confidentiality clause in New Fortress deal

Ranil questions confidentiality clause in New Fortress deal

Former Prime Minister and United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremesinghe today questioned the confidentiality clause in the New Fortress Energy deal.

Wickremesinghe told Parliament today that the Framework Agreement between the Government of Sri Lanka and NFE Sri Lanka Power Holdings LLC is in breach of the Ministerial duty of providing information to Parliament.

He drew attention to Clause 8 of the deal with states that for a period of five years either party shall not except with the prior written consent of the other parties, disclose to any person any information.

“The permitted disclosures are in regard to order of a court, arbitral tribunal or an order, decree, regulation or rule of any Governmental Authority. This clause excludes any information being provided to Parliament. It makes a reference to Governmental Authority but Parliament is not Government. It is the Legislature. Therefore, the Minister cannot obtain information under this Joint Venture agreement for the purpose of disclosing it to Parliament,” Wickremesinghe said.

He requested the Speaker to exercise of his powers as Speaker of Parliament granted under the Constitution and Parliament Powers and Privileges Act and declare the agreement to be in violation of powers, privileges and immunity of Parliament.

The UNP leader also said that the Speaker must summon the Secretary to the Treasury, the Directors of NFE Sri Lanka Power Holdings LLC and the Attorney General before Parliament. (Colombo Gazette)

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