America’s right to impose sanctions has snatched away our right to electricity, said the Minister of Power and Energy Patali Champika Ranawaka during his meeting with the Iranian and Russian Ambassadors recently.
He said that Sri Lanka has joined hands with Russia for the future development of the nuclear technology field, while adding that the Iranian people’s unity in the face of many sanctions are a great example to us.
The minister met with the Iranian and Russian Ambassadors yesterday (13) at his ministry to discuss next years progress and plans for the power and energy sector of Sri Lanka. During the discussions special emphasis was placed on the obstacles encountered in obtaining Iranian assistance for the ‘Vidulamu Lanka’ rural electrification projects.
Minister Ranawaka highlighted the fact that currently around 1000 such rural electrification projects that were to be completed with Iranian assistance has been stalled.
The Iranian Ambassador Dr. M.N. Hassani Kor informed the minister that the American sanctions imposed on Iran have been the main obstacle that has stood in the way in providing the financial assistance for these projects.
Minister Ranawaka in response said that this situation has had a great impact on the fundamental rights of our people. He further pointed out that although the US has imposed sanctions on Iran in retaliation for their use of nuclear power, he highlighted the fact that Russia has the right to utilise nuclear power for peaceful purposes, and 45 other countries are engaged in the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
The minister assured the Iranian Ambassador that Sri Lanka will continue to work with Iran with regard to the power and energy sector in the future as well through his ministry and other affiliated companies.
Meanwhile minister Ranawaka also held a special discussion with the Russian Ambassador Alexander A. Karchawa at his ministry on the same day. The minister during the discussions commended Russia for the manner in which they acted earlier toward balancing of world power. He said that due to that special focus has been placed by other countries on Asia as a whole, adding that it has posed a great threat to powerful countries such as the US.
He further highlighted the fact that Russia has volunteered its assistance to Asian countries and India for the various forms of nuclear technology in those countries. He said that Russia’s assistance is vital for the future advancement of nuclear energy in Sri Lanka.
The Russian Ambassador expressed his appreciation for the minister’s confidence and faith placed on Russia, and promised to notify Sri Lanka within the next two months on the assistance his country could render for the future development of nuclear energy in Sri Lanka.
Both parties also made it a point to discuss the current political environment of the two countries as well.