UK charity condemns 'wheelchair tax' by Lankan authorities

- sundaytimes.lk

The head of a UK charity has condemned the imposing of a customs duty of over US$ 8000  for a consignment of wheel chairs that were sent to Sri Lanka for war victims, the BBC website reported.

Peter Thompson, of the Yorkshire-based PhysioNet charity, said the shipment for war victims also took more than three months to clear customs.

The Sri Lankan authorities said the delay was because paperwork for the shipment was not properly completed.

They said all shipments arriving in Colombo are subject to duty payments.

But Mr Thompson said the $8,000 (1m Sri Lankan rupees) that had to be paid in customs duties and port storage fees was unacceptable.

He argued that the delay in clearing the shipment - which contained 322 wheelchairs and other mobility items for disabled Tamil war victims - meant that the bill had to be paid before it was allowed to be transported to the north of the country.

The shipment was sent by PhysioNet in conjunction with a Sri Lankan Tamil charity based in the UK and the Roman Catholic church; together they met all of the costs of getting the consignment to Sri Lanka.

"But problems arose in Colombo when it took three months to clear the docks," Mr Thompson told the BBC.

"This is a record for the longest time one of our shipments has languished on the docks of a recipient country - and that includes some of the most corrupt and inefficient countries in Africa."

Mr Thompson said the Sri Lankan authorities appeared to put up obstacles every step of the way to prevent the shipment from being speedily delivered.

"Only following endless paperwork and the payment of $8,000 was the container released and allowed to be transported to the north of the country," he said.

"During the three months it took for these problems to be resolved, the demurrage charges were building up substantially in Colombo.

"It's difficult to conclude that this is anything other than a glaring example of the Sri Lankan authorities victimising the Tamil community."

Mr Thompson said his charity hoped to send another shipment to Sri Lanka next year, "but only if there are some assurances that this unhappy experience will not be repeated".

A spokesman for the port authority in Colombo that handled the consignment said all imports - including those brought in for charitable purposes - are subject to import duties.

He said the delay in clearing the wheelchairs was because various government ministries had to give their permission before shipments to the north were allowed to go ahead.

Courtesy - BBC.com

You may also like

- island.lk

BBC reported that former Australia white-ball captain Aaron Finch has announced his retirement from international cricket. Opening batter Finch, 36, was Australia’s T20 captain, having retired from one-day internationals in September.. He represented Australia in five Tests, 146 one-day internationals and 103 T20s, leading them to their first T20 World Cup title in 2021. Finch […]

- island.lk

BBC reported that hundreds of women are protesting in the north-eastern Indian state of Assam after their male relatives were arrested as part of a crackdown on child marriage. State police have arrested more than 2,400 people since Friday. This includes husbands and relatives of alleged child brides, as well as priests who officiated the […]

- onlanka.com

Sri Lanka had about 750 schools, where only about two children each entered Grade One classes each year, JVP-lead NPP leader, Anura Kumara Dissanayaka, said in Matale yesterday (February 06).The post Only two students each in Grade One classes of 750 Government schools: JVP appeared first on Sri Lanka News - Latest Breaking News in Sri Lanka - ONLANKA News.

- onlanka.com

Representatives of the United Nations Development Program said that Sri Lanka will be supported in achieving the country’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).The post UNDP to support Sri Lanka in achieving its Sustainable Development Goals appeared first on Sri Lanka News - Latest Breaking News in Sri Lanka - ONLANKA News.

- onlanka.com

Sri Lanka has the potential to establish the green economy, specially by way of renewable energy, said President Ranil Wickremesinghe addressing a High-Level event on Strategies and Actions to Accelerate Sri Lanka’s Transition to a Green Growth Pathway.The post Sri Lanka has initiated an action plan to ensure a Green Economy by 2050 – President appeared first on Sri Lanka News - Latest Break...

- adaderana.lk

The ambassador of Sri Lanka to Turkey has appealed to the members of the public to convey any information about Sri Lankans living in Turkey as the death toll from the powerful earthquakes and aftershocks that rocked a swathe of Turkey and northwest of Syria on Monday (Feb 06) soared past 3,700.

Entertainment:View All

Technology:View All

Local News

Local News

Sri Lanka News

@2022 - All Right Reserved. Designed and Developed by Rev-Creations, Inc