Sri Lanka Finds Hazardous Waste in UK Metal Recycling Cargo, Orders Probe
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Colombo [Sri Lanka], July 26 (ANI): Sri Lanka on Thursday ordered a probe into the hazardous material, including clinical waste stored in containers, being imported into the country from Britain under the guise of recyclable metals that has caused a nationwide uproar in recent days.The Finance Ministry, in a statement, said that officials have been directed from the Sri Lanka Customs Department to probe the containers which had arrived at the Colombo Port, containing human waste and other extremely hazardous material wrapped in mattresses and plastic, under the guise of recyclable metals, Xinhua news agency reported.Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera has called for a detailed report from the customs officials as soon as possible.Investigators said that over the past two years over 100 containers have arrived at the Colombo Port containing such hazardous waste.According to what has been revealed to Colombo Page, a private Sri Lankan company has imported municipal solid waste into Sri Lanka. If any country imports municipal waste, it must obtain the permission of the relevant Environmental Authority of the country."If any country is importing waste material, it can only be done so with permission from relevant environmental protection agencies, which in Sri Lanka is the Central Environmental Agency (CEA)," the statement said."Therefore the Finance Minister has instructed Customs to conduct an investigation and submit a report on the waste containers imported to Sri Lanka."The British Government has also reportedly launched an investigation after Sri Lankan authorities said they would send back more than a hundred shipping containers to Britain.In addition, the Attorney General further informed the Court of Appeal that the waste imported from abroad will not be allowed to be transported to elsewhere or disposed of when a writ petition was filed by the Environmental Justice Center of the country seeking an order from the government to prohibit the illegal importation of garbage to Sri Lanka. (ANI)

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