Sri Lanka exports e-waste

Posted on December 23, 2011  /  0 Comments

Back in 2008, I had a knock-down policy debate with current Provincial Council Minister and then Chairman of the Central Environmental Authority Udaya Gammanpila (mostly in the Sinhala newspapers, so difficult to give all the links, but here is one). In the short-term he won: the two percent envi levy was not rolled back at that time. But in the long-term we won: the 2011 Budget abolished the envi levy and the dream of funding all the activities of the Environment Ministry from mobile taxes went away.

In the course of the debate, Mr Gammanpila claimed that e waste could not be transported across borders and that therefore the levy was needed to fund the construction of a factory. I questioned the veracity of this claim and even challenged him to a public debate. See the summary and my continuing efforts to engage the issue here. And who will be held to account for the wasteful expenditures, if any, on the e-waste processing factory?

Today, it was reported that the CEA that Mr Gammanpila headed had been instrumental in the export of 27,000 tons of e-waste, including mobile phones, for proper processing. This suggests the CEA has proved me right with regard to the interpretation of Basel.

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