Sri Lanka's central bank placed the picture of a coal power plant built by China Machinery and Engineering Corporation (CMEC) in 455 million US dollar deal that was not openly tendered in a 100 rupee noted issued in 2011.
The plant has been constantly breaking down and amid a drought which reduced hydro generation is breakdowns had plunged the country into its first power cuts in more than a decade.
Legislator Harsha de Silva, representing the main opposition said the plant in Norochcholai on the west coast of Sri Lanka was used to depict "development and prosperity" of Sri Lanka in a currency note.
He said in a statement that it was amusing that authorities had "thought it fit to depict this symbol of corruption in the guise of development as our nation’s pride in ‘development and prosperity’."
The deal for the coal plant was struck between the ruling classes of the two countries without open tendering through what is generally referred to in statist nations as 'government to government' procurement.
De Silva quoted CMEC as saying in its website that the firm "felt an incomparable pride" in the coal fired project being placed in a currency note.
He said there was "incomparable anger" at the "hitmen" involved in the coal plant deal.
Sri Lanka went for a fast-track Chinese turnkey design build transfer (DBT) coal plant after plans by the state-run Ceylon Electricity Board for a Japanese financed coal plant were stumped for decades by religious and environmental lobbies.
Administrations run by Sri Lanka two major parties have been responsible for the delays.
De Silva said an investigation must be carried out on the deal. There have been concerns raised about Chinese projects where there is no open tendering.
However after Sri Lanka destroyed the institution of permanent secretaries through constitutions in 1972 and 1978, rule of law and justice had deteriorated in Sri Lanka.