Sep 11, 2017

Interested parties drag Central Expressway into abyss

The third stage of the Central Expressway (CEP III) construction project has been dragged into unwarranted abyss by certain interested parties further delaying its implementation by spreading false information, Ministry of highways officials claimed.

At least two national newspapers and an electronic media institution had tried to mislead the public claiming that tender procedure was with full of corruption and a Japanese government official pressured Sri Lanka directly, including in writing, into giving a disqualified Japanese company a stake in the Central Expressway (CEP III) deal.

These slanted news items appeared in some newspapers even after Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe clearly clarified the involvement of the Japanese government in the whole selection process of the contractor in parliament on Friday.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe  rejected allegations of corruption made against his Government over the construction of the Central Highway third stage by involving Japanese firms and gave a detailed explanation of the tender process and related negotiations to Parliament.

According to the Prime Minister, the Government has maintained high transparency and has awarded the project at a rate considerably lower than the initial bid and saved money as well as promoted relations with the Government of Japan.

The Prime Minister categorically stated that two Japanese companies, Fujita Corporation and Taisei Corporation have been given the opportunity to form a consortium and begin the construction work as soon as possible.

He also explained in detail about the cabinet decisions and Cabinet Committee on Economic Management directives issued on the whole procedure.

After giving such a detailed account in parliament, attempts made by two news papers  and a TV Channel to paint different picture dragging the Japanese government without knowing their actual involvement clearly indicates the involvement of powerful institution to tarnish the image of the government and the prime minister, Highways Ministry official said.

Making  accusations against a top Japanese government official  for his involvement in the transaction without inquiring into actual facts behind the negotiations of the deal will  definitely irk the Japanese authorities , he added

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