Committee appointed to probe payment to toxic Chinese fertiliser shipment

Thursday, 25 May 2023 03:11 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • SJB Leader Sajith Premadasa raises concern over lack of transparency 

Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera yesterday informed Parliament that a committee headed by Foreign Affairs Minister Ali Sabry has been appointed to inquire into the payments made to the Chinese contaminated fertiliser shipment.

 “The fertiliser ship did not arrive in Sri Lanka. However, we have made payments for it. A committee has been appointed led by Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Sabry and currently we are looking into what steps can be taken in this regard,” Amaraweera said in response to a question posed by opposition leader Sajith Premadasa. 

“We paid in dollars for the fertiliser shipment containing excreta. But now we do not have the stock of contaminated fertiliser nor the ship. We do not know what happened to the payment either,” Premadasa said. 

He asked Amaraweera if the Government was prepared to also table in parliament the Auditor General’s report on the matter. The opposition leader also requested Amaraweera to present a report to parliament on what happened to the stock of fertiliser, how the funds were secured to make the payment and what steps will be taken against those who ordered the payment to be made. 

However, Amaraweera took offence at the terminology used by Premadasa and said the Chinese including the Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka have profusely expressed their regret regarding the issue. “Therefore it is not appropriate to refer to it as excreta as this is a diplomatic matter,” he said. Amaraweera assured the report of the committee will be tabled in parliament following the probe.