ECONOMYNEXT – Addresses of tens of thousands of parcels airmailed to Sri Lanka from China and neighboring had been lost in transit due to logistics disruptions coming from Coronavirus driven airport closures, Information Minister Bandula Gunewardene said.
“In the recent past the world came to a standstill, airports closed, ships did not come,” Minister Gunewardene said.
“So parcels that should have come by air have been sent by sea. Last week a container came by ship via Malaysia. There are 42,000 parcels. But seawater and moisture had obliterated the addresses.”
“If the addresses are dead how can postmen deliver?”
He said there had been allegations that postal workers had stolen many airmailed parcels which the recipients were hoping to get.
“That is not true,” Minister Gunewardene said. “We have asked help from China and other countries where these came to get help to decipher the barcodes and find the addresses.
“If we cannot find the address we will have to send them back. There is no point in blaming the postal department.
He said postal unions had protested against a decision by the Treasury to stop delivery on Saturday to save money as there was a severe cash crunch.
Saturday delivery is paid overtime. He said postal workers had worked during Covid-19 curfews at the risk of their lives to deliver medicine to clinic patients of state hospitals.
Unions had now agreed to a 20 percent overtime cut, but they would get work on Saturday. (Colombo/June18/2020-sb)