Despite the fact that about 30 different types of agrochemicals have been smuggled into the country by boats in a background where the importation of agrochemicals has been banned, the Registrar of Pesticides has so far ordered the seizure of only 9 types of agrochemicals and prosecution , former Governor of the Southern and Central Provinces Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon says. He further points out that the rest of the toxic chemicals are coming into the country freely.
Former Governor Tennakoon further stated that these special pesticides are being smuggled into the country and that gold is being exchanged for dollars and that these items are being exchanged for gold in the southern seas including Weligama Mirissa as well as in the eastern seas.
“This racket has been going on for a long time. The government was in closed eyes and ears till it disclosed this danger on September 23rd. However, on the following day, 24th The Registrar of Pesticides ordered that only 9 of the nearly 30 counterfeit pesticides being sold Island-wide be seized and prosecuted. It is gratifying to see the arrest and prosecution of illegal agrochemicals under the Pesticides Act, but the arrest of only nine illegal pesticides has created an environment for the free sale of highly toxic chemicals.
“According to Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon, even the highly toxic monocrotophos, malathion, and carbofuran, which were banned in Sri Lanka some time ago, are being imported in unlimited quantities. They are packaged under various names and are currently being marketed. The government’s plan is to show organic farming to the country and the world and to cultivate in the Maha season using boat agrochemicals.
Under the Pesticides Control Act No. 33 of 1980, the Registrar of Pesticides has directed all authorized officers, all prosecuting officers, and litigation officers to search and prosecute only nine agrochemicals. Thereby, all other illegal agrochemicals have been given an open unofficial license for sale.
Former Governor Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon has called on the government to take immediate action to seize all illegal agrochemicals being sold in the country and to prosecute the smugglers.