Mr. Sashi Koran, Director of Ceylon Metal Processing Corporation (Ceympco), denies any involvement in helping foreign countries to dump garbage in Sri Lanka.
Speaking to media at an interview, the director of Ceympco emphasized that his company is involved in resource recovery business, which is drastically different to waste disposal.
"The resource recovery industry is perhaps the fastest growing and most admired industry today because it helps save the environment by reusing recovered resources instead of using new resources from nature," he said.
"With the attention the media has given this story, Sri Lanka now has the knowledge and awareness to explore possibilities and exploit opportunities for the good of the world and the benefit of the Sri Lankan economy.
I must take this opportunity to thank the media for giving this uninteresting subject the attention needed to win the interest of authorities, private sector and the general public.
According to the law, used and discarded material cannot be brought in to the country except for processing and re-export, and even then, they can only enter a country’s Export Processing Zones or Free Zone," Koran said.
The director also said they are of no authority to take out any waste or dangerous material from the containers and out of the port, emphasizing that such authority is given to only the Customs and Free Zone operator.
"Advantis is part of Hayleys Group one of Sri Lanka’s most respected and ethical companies. In fact, we wanted to work with such a company because of their ethics and clean reputation.
Since these material are for re-export we cannot access the contents even if we wanted to. That is the law. Only the customs and Free Zone operator can."
Koran added they did not import medical or hazardous waste, and said a UK publication had reported that an unnamed department of the UK government has begun investigations based on reports by unnamed Sri Lankan authorities that human remains ‘appear to be present’ in 111 containers imported to Sri Lanka from UK over the past two years.
According to Koran, the Ceympco wrote to customs authorities and Central Environmental Authority the minute they came to learn of the incident, and urged them to conduct an immediate and unbiased inquiry into the matter.
"We want Sri Lankan government and relevant state authorities to study this emerging industry and see how it can be nurtured, fostered and developed so Sri Lanka can earn valuable foreign exchange- and its entrepreneurs and businesses learn to do well by doing good.
Because the resource recovery industry is here to stay, whether we like it or not. And with regards to the resource recovery industry we hope the media will do the right thing," he said.