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Friday March 1st, 2024

Sri Lanka President lifts import ban on glyphosate

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe has lifted a ban on glyphosate, a weed killer giving into a long standing request of the island’s tea industry.

In a gazette notice issued under the hand of President Wickremesinghe as Minister of Finance, Economic Stabilization and National Policies, the import ban on glyphosate has been lifted with effect from August 05.

Glyphosate has been shifted to a list of goods requiring permits.

Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena originally banned glyphosate under the 2015-2015 administration where Wickremesinghe was Prime Minister.

Sri Lanka’s tea industry in particular as been lobbying to allow glyphosate use as it is one of the internationally accepted weed killers and alternatives are not permitted under food regulation in some of the export destinations.

Sri Lanka lifted the ban in November 2021 and it was re-imposed and then agriculture Minister Mahindanda Aluthgamage said he ordered the official responsible for the liberalization to be removed from the post. (Colombo/Aug09/2022)

Comments (2)

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  1. Francis Perera says:

    A very good decision.

  2. Dr Ivan Amarasinghe says:

    Your article states “Sri Lanka’s tea industry in particular as been lobbying to allow glyphosate use as it is one of the internationally accepted weed killers and alternatives are not permitted under food regulation in some of the export destinations.”. It is patently untrue.
    So sad to note that while the rest of the world moves away from obsolete and questionable agrochemicals, Sri Lanka is still mired in archaic beliefs promoted by rather ignorant academic advisors.
    Here are some relevant global truths underscored by scientific opinion, global policy formulators.
    Countries Which Have banned Glyphosate
    Argentina, Australia, Austria Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark,, El Salvador, Fiji, France, Germany, Greece, India,, Italy, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Oman, Portugal, Qatar, St. Vincent & the Grenadines Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka (up to 2018 and reintroduced ban in 2021 but resumed application in 2022 due to political pressures), Sweden, Switzerland, , Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom,
    United States (28 of the 50 States have already banned Glyphosate to varying extents.
    Viet Nam (https://sustainablepulse.com/2019/03/25/vietnam-bans-import-of-glyphosate-herbicides-after-us-cancer-trial-verdict/#.XJkUM1NKiT9)
    German cabinet approves legislation to ban glyphosate from 2024
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-farming-lawmaking-idUSKBN2AA1GF
    Regional Collectives which banned Glyphosate

    Middle East
    Oman’s Ministry of Agriculture along with six other Middle Eastern countries, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Bahrain, have banned the use of glyphosate herbicides since 2016, after reviewing IARC’s classification of glyphosate as a ‘probable human carcinogen’.

    European Union
    Glyphosate is currently approved in the EU until 15 December 2022. Therefore, glyphosate can be used as an active substance in Plant Protection Products (PPPs), until that date, subject to each PPP being authorised by national authorities following an evaluation of its safety.
    Monsanto Banned from European Parliament as it unduly influenced studies into the safety of glyphosate
    MEPs withdraw parliamentary access after the firm shunned a hearing into allegations that it unduly influenced studies into the safety of glyphosate used in its RoundUp weedkiller. “Monsanto lobbyists have been banned from entering the European parliament after the multinational refused to attend a parliamentary hearing into allegations of regulatory interference. It is the first time MEPs have used new rules to withdraw parliamentary access for firms that ignore a summons to attend parliamentary inquiries or hearings…”https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/28/monsanto-banned-from-european-parliament
    https://www.baumhedlundlaw.com/blog/2018/august/monsanto-to-pay-289-2-million-in-landmark-roundu/
    https://www.baumhedlundlaw.com/toxic-tort-law/monsanto-roundup-lawsuit/where-is-glyphosate-banned-/
    “The EPA has got it wrong on glyphosate. We have study after study after study showing that it in fact, does cause a specific type of cancer called lymphoma. And we see it happening in thousands and thousands of people across the country. Currently, this Administration and this EPA will not take action against Monsanto. We’ve seen the internal documents, the text messages, the emails between senior EPA officials and Monsanto employees. And the simple fact is they know that this EPA will not take adverse action against them. It is a travesty that this truth about it causing cancer and this awareness that we are trying to raise has to be done in the context of litigation. We only exist, these lawsuits only exist, because the EPA has failed the American public for 45 years and Monsanto is allowed to get away with reckless conduct with, essentially, impunity…this agency essentially does not work for the American public but works for industry. The fact that the White House is telling Monsanto, ‘We have your back.’ I mean this just tells us that we are going to have to keep fighting this fight and that we are not going to get any support or help from the public agencies that, ironically, are supposed to be protecting the public health.” – Brent Wisner, Roundup Cancer Attorney

    “…Monsanto lobbyists have been banned from entering the European parliament after the multinational refused to attend a parliamentary hearing into allegations of regulatory interference.
    It is the first time MEPs have used new rules to withdraw parliamentary access for firms that ignore a summons to attend parliamentary inquiries or hearings.
    Monsanto spends between €300,000-€400,000 (£260,000 – £350,000) annually on lobbying in Brussels, according to its self-declaration form in the EU transparency register…”
    Why are they saying “NO GLYPHOSATE” after all these years of “yes to Glyphosate”!!!
    When I used Round Up on my field experimental sites some 30 years ago, Round UP was the trademark for Glyphosate. Recent Cutting Edge scientific surveys and opinion on safety of Glyphosate have drastically changed !
    Will Sri Lanka follow the advice and practice ?

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Francis Perera says:

    A very good decision.

  2. Dr Ivan Amarasinghe says:

    Your article states “Sri Lanka’s tea industry in particular as been lobbying to allow glyphosate use as it is one of the internationally accepted weed killers and alternatives are not permitted under food regulation in some of the export destinations.”. It is patently untrue.
    So sad to note that while the rest of the world moves away from obsolete and questionable agrochemicals, Sri Lanka is still mired in archaic beliefs promoted by rather ignorant academic advisors.
    Here are some relevant global truths underscored by scientific opinion, global policy formulators.
    Countries Which Have banned Glyphosate
    Argentina, Australia, Austria Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark,, El Salvador, Fiji, France, Germany, Greece, India,, Italy, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Oman, Portugal, Qatar, St. Vincent & the Grenadines Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka (up to 2018 and reintroduced ban in 2021 but resumed application in 2022 due to political pressures), Sweden, Switzerland, , Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom,
    United States (28 of the 50 States have already banned Glyphosate to varying extents.
    Viet Nam (https://sustainablepulse.com/2019/03/25/vietnam-bans-import-of-glyphosate-herbicides-after-us-cancer-trial-verdict/#.XJkUM1NKiT9)
    German cabinet approves legislation to ban glyphosate from 2024
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-farming-lawmaking-idUSKBN2AA1GF
    Regional Collectives which banned Glyphosate

    Middle East
    Oman’s Ministry of Agriculture along with six other Middle Eastern countries, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Bahrain, have banned the use of glyphosate herbicides since 2016, after reviewing IARC’s classification of glyphosate as a ‘probable human carcinogen’.

    European Union
    Glyphosate is currently approved in the EU until 15 December 2022. Therefore, glyphosate can be used as an active substance in Plant Protection Products (PPPs), until that date, subject to each PPP being authorised by national authorities following an evaluation of its safety.
    Monsanto Banned from European Parliament as it unduly influenced studies into the safety of glyphosate
    MEPs withdraw parliamentary access after the firm shunned a hearing into allegations that it unduly influenced studies into the safety of glyphosate used in its RoundUp weedkiller. “Monsanto lobbyists have been banned from entering the European parliament after the multinational refused to attend a parliamentary hearing into allegations of regulatory interference. It is the first time MEPs have used new rules to withdraw parliamentary access for firms that ignore a summons to attend parliamentary inquiries or hearings…”https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/28/monsanto-banned-from-european-parliament
    https://www.baumhedlundlaw.com/blog/2018/august/monsanto-to-pay-289-2-million-in-landmark-roundu/
    https://www.baumhedlundlaw.com/toxic-tort-law/monsanto-roundup-lawsuit/where-is-glyphosate-banned-/
    “The EPA has got it wrong on glyphosate. We have study after study after study showing that it in fact, does cause a specific type of cancer called lymphoma. And we see it happening in thousands and thousands of people across the country. Currently, this Administration and this EPA will not take action against Monsanto. We’ve seen the internal documents, the text messages, the emails between senior EPA officials and Monsanto employees. And the simple fact is they know that this EPA will not take adverse action against them. It is a travesty that this truth about it causing cancer and this awareness that we are trying to raise has to be done in the context of litigation. We only exist, these lawsuits only exist, because the EPA has failed the American public for 45 years and Monsanto is allowed to get away with reckless conduct with, essentially, impunity…this agency essentially does not work for the American public but works for industry. The fact that the White House is telling Monsanto, ‘We have your back.’ I mean this just tells us that we are going to have to keep fighting this fight and that we are not going to get any support or help from the public agencies that, ironically, are supposed to be protecting the public health.” – Brent Wisner, Roundup Cancer Attorney

    “…Monsanto lobbyists have been banned from entering the European parliament after the multinational refused to attend a parliamentary hearing into allegations of regulatory interference.
    It is the first time MEPs have used new rules to withdraw parliamentary access for firms that ignore a summons to attend parliamentary inquiries or hearings.
    Monsanto spends between €300,000-€400,000 (£260,000 – £350,000) annually on lobbying in Brussels, according to its self-declaration form in the EU transparency register…”
    Why are they saying “NO GLYPHOSATE” after all these years of “yes to Glyphosate”!!!
    When I used Round Up on my field experimental sites some 30 years ago, Round UP was the trademark for Glyphosate. Recent Cutting Edge scientific surveys and opinion on safety of Glyphosate have drastically changed !
    Will Sri Lanka follow the advice and practice ?

Sri Lanka’s RAMIS online tax collection system “not operatable”: IT Minister

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s online tax collection system RAMIS is “not operatable”, and the Ministry of Information Technology is ready to do for an independent audit to find the shortcomings, State IT Minister Kanaka Herath said.

The Revenue Administration Management Information System (RAMIS) was introduced to the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) when the island nation signed for its 16th International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme in 2016.

However, trade unions at the IRD protested the move, claiming that the system was malfunctioning despite billions being spent for it amid allegations that the new system was reducing the direct contacts between taxpayers and the IRD to reduce corruption.

The RAMIS had to be stopped after taxpayers faced massive penalties because of blunders made by heads of the IT division, computer operators and system errors at the IRD, government officials have said.

“The whole of Sri Lanka admits RAMIS is a failure. The annual fee is very high for that. This should be told in public,” Herath told reporters at a media briefing in Colombo on Thursday (29)

“In future, we want all the ministries to get the guidelines from our ministry when they go for ERP (Enterprise resource planning).”

President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s government said the RAMIS system will be operational from December last year.

However, the failure has delayed some tax collection which could have been paid via online.

“It is not under our ministry. It is under the finance ministry. We have no involvement with it, but still, it is not operatable,” Herath said.

“So, there are so many issues going on and I have no idea what the technical part of it. We can carry out an independent audit to find out the shortcomings of the software.”

Finance Ministry officials say IRD employees and trade unions had been resisting the RAMIS because it prevents direct interactions with taxpayers and possible bribes for defaulting or under paying taxes.

The crisis-hit island nation is struggling to boost its revenue in line with the target it has committed to the IMF in return for a 3 billion-dollar extended fund facility. (Colombo/Feb 29/2024) 

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Sri Lanka aims to boost SME with Sancharaka Udawa tourism expo

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is hosting Sancharaka Udawa, a tourism industry exhibition which will bring together businesses ranging from hotels to travel agents and airlines, and will allow the small and medium sector build links with the rest of the industry, officials said.

There will be over 250 exhibitors, with the annual event held for the 11th time expected to draw around 10,000 visitors, the organizers said.

“SMEs play a big role, from homestays to under three-star categories,” Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Chairman, Chalaka Gajabahu told reporters.

“It is very important that we develop those markets as well.”

The Sancharaka Udawa fair comes as the Indian Ocean island is experiencing a tourism revival.

Sri Lanka had welcomed 191,000 tourists up to February 25, compared to 107,639 in February 2023.

“We have been hitting back-to-back double centuries,” Gajabahu said. “January was over 200,000.”

The exhibition to be held on May 17-18, is organized by the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators.

It aims to establish a networking platform for small and medium sized service providers within the industry including the smallest sector.

“Homestays have been increasingly popular in areas such as Ella, Down South, Knuckles and Kandy,” SLAITO President, Nishad Wijethunga, said.

In the northern Jaffna peninsula, both domestic and international tourism was helping hotels.

A representative of the Northern Province Tourism Sector said that the Northern Province has 170 hotels, all of which have 60-70 percent occupancy.

Further, domestic airlines from Colombo to Palali and the inter-city train have been popular with local and international visitors, especially Indian tourists. (Colombo/Feb29/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes at 309.50/70 to the US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed at 309.50/70 to the US dollar Thursday, from 310.00/15 on Wednesday, dealers said.

Bond yields were slightly higher.

A bond maturing on 01.02.2026 closed at 10.50/70 percent down from 10.60/80 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2027 closed at 11.90/12.10 percent from 11.90/12.00 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 closed at 12.20/25 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.07.2029 closed at 12.30/45 percent up from 12.20/50 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.05.2030 closed at 12.35/50 percent up from 12.25/40 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2032 closed at 12.55/13.00 percent up from 12.50/90 percent. (Colombo/Feb29/2024)

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