On one hand, the country is faced with an energy crisis that is mounting by the day and on the other hand the country is being cornered in a geopolitical power struggle.
The US and India are pushing from one front and China from another front. The parties may differ in strategy but the end goal is the supremacy of the South Asian region In late January and early February 2022, two foreign officials from the United States and India visited Sri Lanka in a bid to counter China’s influence in the region.
The New Fortress Energy project.
As part of this, they discussed issues such as Sri Lanka’s economic crisis and IMF bailout. The New Fortress Energy project, in which a US company acquired a 40% stake in West Coast Power Ltd, was also discussed. This project included the rights to build an offshore floating storage and regasification unit.
Although Cabinet approval was granted by former Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa, the project was criticized by opposition MP Ranil Wickremesinghe, who claimed it breached parliamentary powers and privileges. Experts believe the project has also upended gas exploration efforts in the Mannar Basin, off Sri Lanka’s northwestern coast. The US and Sri Lankan Navy and Air Force took part in the CARAT-MAREX military exercise, primarily in Mullikulam, Mannar, prior to the visit of the US official. Meanwhile, Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar also visited Sri Lanka in January.
“back door entry”
Last year, India’s Adani Group secured an unsolicited contract for wind and solar power projects in Mannar and Pooneryn. The group was accused of having a “back door entry” into Sri Lanka’s energy sector.
India also signed up for renewable power projects on three islands off Jaffna. The need to increase the share of renewables in Sri Lanka’s energy mix in the long term is a stated goal.
Now it’s Ranil Wickramasinga’s call to come up with a diplomatic strategy to get the best of renewable energy resources for Sri Lanka
Source :The Diplomat link