Will Sri Lanka become the dumping ground of Asia?

Will Sri Lanka become the dumping ground of Asia?

Written by Staff Writer

17 Aug, 2018 | 11:44 am

COLOMBO (News 1st) – On earlier occasions concerns regarding Radioactive waste, municipal waste, sewage sludge and clinical waste entering Sri Lanka through the Sri Lanka – Singapore FTA were raised by professional organisations.

However, the concerns raised by these professional bodies was dismissed by Minister Malik Samarawickrama who stated in Parliament that laws pertaining to importation will apply to whatever is being brought into the country.

Even though the Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade made this assertion, there are reports of hazardous material being brought into the country in the past. On the 23rd of July 1987,  13 containers were brought into the country from Pakistan claiming that it carried erasers.

When the containers were not cleared from the customs over a long period of time, it was revealed that a fake address had been used to import the goods. Further investigations revealed that the containers housed 130 tonners of highly toxic pesticide.

The motive of the company that was involved in the importation of the said pesticides was to destroy it here in Sri Lanka. As a result of the strong decisions of the then president Ranasinghe Premadasa and the pressure exerted by the media as well as environmentalists, the containers were sent back on the 16th of June 1990.

Activist Nalaka Jayaweera believes that what the subject minister claims in his statement and the situation on the ground are completely contradictory.

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