British waste container issue: was it lost opportunity ?

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In seemingly what appears to be a victory to Sri Lanka, the Customs Department has dispatched off what is said to be the last batch of containers carrying waste imported into the country from Britain.

But, in real terms the winner has not been the government, customs or environmental groups that campaign for the return of some 263 containers which had been imported into the country between 2017 and 2019 . It has been the persons behind the imports who have been spared of any action against them.

As the Executive Director of the Environmental Justice organisation Heamantha Vithanage explains their organisation which initiated the legal action were forced to withdraw their case if they wanted the waste containers back to Britain as they did not want to accept the containers pending legal action.

As a result the containers which were the production in the case is now out of the country with the last 45 containers being shipped out of the country.

Director General of the Sri Lanka Customs Department Major General (Retired) Vijitha Ravipriya told journalists that investigations were pending.

But in reality very unlikely that any futher action would be followed.

Mr Vithanage says the ideal situation would have been to get a final ruling from the courts including a directive to ensure that in future such containers with waste are not smuggled into the country.

Hayleys Free Zone Ltd. In a statement said that the waste material was exported from UK to Sri Lanka, on behalf of the ultimate consignee M/s Ceylon Metal Corporation Pvt Ltd and has now been re-exported to the UK.

Was it a lost opportunity is the question that remains.

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