AG to file motion today, to check UK waste containers

COLOMBO (The Island/ANN) - Attorney General informed of 21 other waste containers found in the same premises where previously 232 waste containers, reportedly loaded with UK waste, were found.

The Attorney General will be filing a motion seeking to check the waste containers today (12).

The Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ) filed a writ of mandamus demanding action on Monday, Dec 09.

The Central Environmental Authority (CEA), Board of Investment (BoI) and the Attorney General Department asked for time till today (12).

CEJ Managing Director Dilena Pathragoda expressed confidence that the matter would be finally sorted out without further delay

He added: "We are also hopeful about the report that the Government Analyst is expected to submit to the court."

The UK has agreed to take back 42 containers of plastic waste illegally exported to Malaysia. Accordingly, this decision was made after a visit by UK environment officials. However, despite assurances they had not taken a similar concrete decision with regard to the waste materials dumped here, environmentalists stressed.

Deputy Director of Customs, Aqthar Hassen has said that the Attorney General was informed of 21 other waste containers found within the same premises where the previous 232 waste containers reportedly loaded with waste from the UK were found.

CEJ Executive Director Hemantha Withanage said that the waste consignments had been imported to be disposed within the country and it would cause severe damage to the environment and the people.

"If such consignments containing chemical waste are permitted to be buried in our soil or sent to open dumps, the underground water table and the surrounding environment will be severely affected. The hazardous chemicals in the waste may also cause adverse health risks including cancer and kidney diseases when such waste is buried, disposed or exposed without adhering to the accepted methods for disposal of such waste."

He also said that the importer had violated the National Environmental Act (NEA) No. 47 of 1980, which had clearly stated that the disposal of waste could only be done under a permit issued by the CEA.

Even though President Sirisena held the environmental portfolio till the November 16 presidential election no action was taken against the culprits.

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