Controversial Cabinet Media Briefing
(Lanka-e-News - 21.Dec.2017, 11.35PM) Following the official announcement made regarding Sri Lanka’s (SL) Asbestos sheets ban and Russia’s tea ban at the cabinet media briefing on the 20 th , suspicions have arisen whether the two governments are seeking to conceal vital facts .
At the cabinet media meeting the following official announcement was made :
*On the 15 th of December , the Federal service of veterinary and plant hygiene service of the Russian government informed the consensual government ‘s plant hygiene service of Sri Lanka that , because there were live larvae of the ‘Capra’ insect in the containers of tea exported to Russia , the plantation products imported from SL is being proscribed from the 18 th .
*It is about 11 % of the total tea export of SL that is dispatched to Russia .
*It is the standards laid down by the European union which SL follows when exporting Tea.
*According to the government , based on unofficial information received by it , this ban imposed by Russia is a sequel to the decision taken by the SL government on 2016-09-06 to restrict the import of raw materials for use and the manufacture of asbestos sheets from 2018-01 -01, because most of those raw materials are imported from Russia.
*Under these circumstances , the SL government suspended its decision to proscribe the import of asbestos materials( from 2018-01-01)
*In SL , it is asbestos which are used for 80 % of the roofing . Besides there are no other alternative products so far .
*The ban on the asbestos that was to commence in January 2018 will not be implemented all at once. That will be gradual. As a first step , the government will be halting the use of asbestos and gradually it will be completed in 2024.
*The measures taken by the government hitherto to lift the tea ban …
1.The ambassadors of the two countries have held discussions in this regard.
2.An official reply has been forwarded in response to the notification issued by Russia.
3.By 18 th December (night) president Sirisena has sent a personal letter to the Russian president ( the ministers who attended the media briefing did not know the contents of the letter)
4.An official delegation has not been sent to Russia. The latter has given an appointment for discussion on the 27 th , and the SL delegation will be leaving for Russia on the 25 th or 26 th .
5.The delegation led by the minister of science and technology Susil Premajayantha will be leaving for Russia in January 2018 to discuss the situation pertaining to the asbestos imported from Russia.
The reasons to suspect that the government is concealing vital facts….
*This consignment of tea has been shipped to Russia by a private Co. If an issue crops up regarding the quality of the commodity of the consignment received by a country , what any country does is ,it halts the cargo from being unloaded , and the relevant Co.is warned. On the other hand if the lapse continues and the mistake is committed over and over again as though deliberately , then that Co is blacklisted. Simply because there is an issue regarding the quality of the consignment of a Co., immediately action is not taken to halt the import of all related goods from the entire country that is exporting those.
A case in point is : when the fuel imported by SL was below quality , what SL did was halting the unloading of the cargo . It did not ban the import of fuel from that country.
Based on that , the proscription imposed by Russia is not according to established norms.
and unreasonable, meaning that there must be other motives behind this move.
Whether that motive is what the SL government is trying to portray is the next pertinent question.
*Never before has Russia imposed such a ban officially on SL. Neither did SL take a decision any day that the import of asbestos from Russia shall be banned. The decision taken was , the government would withdraw from the use of asbestos , and that decision does not affect the private companies importing Russian asbestos products because in SL where there is a 80 % use of asbestos , so far until an alternative is in sight nobody has given thought to options.
For such a powerful large country like Russia , SL is just an infinitesimal entity. Hence for Russia’s asbestos export market SL is insignificant , and is just a dispensable and disposable ‘appendix’ .
Therefore while the decision of SL to ban asbestos is a virtual failure , the statement that Russia imposed the tea ban in that backdrop, is difficult to accept. This Russian ban is something strange and new.
*If the SL government is still saying Russia’s tea ban is a sequel to SL’s asbestos prohibition , then why wait until January to dispatch minister Susil Premajayantha to Russia? Is it because the SL government is aware the true reason for the tea ban is not the asbestos issue?
In this backdrop , the revelations made by Chandra Pradeep the Lanka e news reporter on 18 th merits a review.
It is because the Rosonborono export Co. with which Maithri -Maharaja mahajara team tried to transact the sordid warship deal is a blacklisted Co. , SL cannot push through that deal?
If the SL government still transacts the sordid deal , SL will have to face economic sanctions imposed by other countries except Russia.
In other words it is to surmount this obstacle both parties have devised this ‘Tea ban and asbestos ban’ ploy to somehow fix the deal. Hence, suspicions mounting in this direction against both countries is most reasonable and understandable. Whether in the bags of Maithri and Putin there is truly a warship or not is also therefore questionable.
No matter what , the revelations made by the government pertaining to the tea ban and asbestos prohibition at the cabinet media briefing on the 20 th in response to the questions posed by journalists are in the video footage hereunder
by (2017-12-21 18:23:28)
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