Reports from the Medical Research Institute (MRI) and the Atomic Energy Regulatory Council (AERC) have been demanded by the Government Analyst regarding the containers that have loaded waste imported from the UK and are now currently held at the Colombo Port.
- Welianga, the Government Analyst has advised both of the institutes that if they are unable to present the reports, they will not be able to investigate the samples of the containers and release a final report before the next hearing which is set to take place on September 20. He further clarified that the reports need to be submitted immediately as they do not wish to risk the lives of the scientists involved.
On the other hand, AERC Director-General, H.L. Anil Ranjith, informed the Sunday Times that no radioactive waste has been discovered. He further added that the investigations were carried out earlier at Customs and the free trade zones.
Mr. Aqthar Hassen, the Deputy Director of customs said that the main purpose of their investigations is to reshoot the containers and then carry out a customs inquiry to determine the real motive behind the importations. Furthermore, Mr Aqthar added that a senior officer will accompany in the investigation and carry out the inquiry. The Director of Chemical and Hazardous Waste Management Unit of the Central Environment Authority (CEA), Ajith Weerasundara, directed that the containers must be shipped back to the United Kingdom. He also added that they are currently working together with the environmental authorities of the government sector to export the containers again. He also claimed that the officials of the CEA have discovered that the containers are filled with waste.
Ceylon Metal Processing Corporation (Pvt) Ltd. Director Sasikumaran Muturamar informed the Sunday Times that this new business model is not a way of dumping, but rather a part of the process of recycling. He further explained that they export used mattresses which are separated so it can help manufacture other products and the bureaucratic red tape is failing to understand this new industry and concept in general.
The Hayleys Free Zone Limited Director Asanka Ratnayake said they are still waiting for the Government Analyst to collect samples from the containers and hopes that by the next hearing the reports will be ready.