Garbage import: Prominent businessmen behind the scene; authorities keep mum

Garbage import: Prominent businessmen behind the scene; authorities keep mum

Written by Staff Writer

19 Jul, 2019 | 6:34 am

COLOMBO (News 1st) – News 1st reported an incident where 250 imported garbage containers have been stored at the CICT terminal of the Colombo port in the last few days.

Following investigations, the Central Environmental Authority stated that the import of the containers was a mistake.

News 1st attempted to contact the Chairman of the Central Environmental Authority, Isura Devapriya during the course of the day to confirm if he still claims that they continuously made the mistake to import garbage regularly since 2015 but to no avail.

Following several attempts, News 1st’s attempt to meet him in person at Central Environment Authority deemed futile as well.

Meanwhile, the inspection of the 102 garbage containers currently placed in the CICT terminal in the Colombo port was due to take place today, however, the inspection did not take place. Customs said the containers will be opened on Monday, the 22nd of July.

Customs noted that inspection of the containers arose health concerns as germs and viruses such as Ebola, due to the hospital waste inside them.

Ranjith Vithanage President of the Consumer Rights Protection Organization noted that if a regular citizen dumps garbage on the road they would be fined between Rs 5,000-10,000 and brought before a court for further legal action. He questions why the same law was not imposed on those who imported 130 containers of foreign garbage into the country. He questioned whether is it due to a powerful individual behind the whole incident?

Ven. Pahiyangala Ananda Sagara Thero sarcastically questioned whether these garbage containers arrived via sailboats into the country. The Thero questioned why these containers were not discovered before as it continued from 2015. He noted that this was due to the powerful persons behind the scene. Thero added that when housemaids who arrive with fruits and other sweets for their children, they are denied of bringing them into the country posing various threats to the local flora and fauna. However, it has not stopped bringing truck-loads garbage into the country.

Ven. Vatinapaha Somananda Thero, Convener – Sri Lanka Bikku Peramuna noted that one of the potential presidential candidates was behind the scene. The Thero questioned how would an individual responsible for heinous crimes like these lead a country.

Azath Salley, former Governor of the Western Province noted that a powerful individual is behind the curtain and questioned why the CID and FCID would take action against them.

Meanwhile, News 1st went in search of the importer company whose name was included in the list that provided information to the Customs department, when the garbage containers were brought in.

As there was no office or company with such an address, we visited the respective post office to inquire about the address. The individual in charge of distributing the postal documents said that this address receives letters addressed to several companies.

He noted that there was a rubber company in the mentioned address, and there are two companies at the same address.

Subsequently, News 1st contacted the alleged individual responsible for importing the garbage containers.

The individual accepted that Sein Logistics is registered under his name and they were connected to the incident. But he noted that he and the company are not responsible for the import of the garbage containers.

He noted that his company is responsible for port clearing and had nothing to do with garbage. When he was questioned the company accountable for the import he denied to reveal it but he noted that it was an influential company.

Meanwhile, it is clear that the company located in Katunayaka is responsible for importing this waste.

News 1st investigation has revealed that the British company alleged to have sent these containers to Sri Lanka, is defunct.

Who is responsible for these waste containers?

Who provided false information to the Customs Department?

As per the gazette notification issued on the 13th of July, does not permit the customs to accept garbage into this country. Therefore, we cannot stop with re-exporting these waste containers. Either the board of directors of the responsible company must accept this responsibility and the law must be enforced against this matter. Failing the customs must take over the responsibility. The responsible company has provided customs with false information. This is clearly a violation of the customs act and is a punishable offence.

All parties connected to importing garbage into the country have now been revealed.

Why are they still hiding and not providing answers to the law enforcement authorities?

These organizations are headed by prominent businessmen.

Those who gained such positions through their intervention in the country’s stock exchange are now engaging in such unethical and immoral activities.

We urge such individuals to come forward and speak the truth to the relevant law enforcement authorities.

The people are concerned.



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