Chinese company demands USD 8 million from Sri Lankan official

By Easwaran Rutnam (@easwaranrutnam)

The Chinese company embroiled in a controversy with Sri Lanka over imported fertizer, has demanded USD 8 million from the Additional Director of the National Plant Quarantine Service (NPQS) for the loss and damage caused to the company. 

In a Letter of Demand (LOD) sent to Dr W.A.R.T Wickramaarachchi, Additional Director of the National Plant Quarantine Service of the Department of Agriculture, Qingdao Seawin Biotech Group Co Ltd says failure to pay the said sum in 3 days would result in legal action.

In the LOD sent through its local lawyers, Seawin Biotech said that the National Plant Quarantine Service conducted several purported tests on samples of solid organic fertlizer supplied and/or to be supplied by the Chinese company under two contracts reached with Ceylon Fertilizer Co. Ltd and Colombo Commercial Fertilizers Ltd respectively.

However, the National Plant Quarantine Service issued a test report stating that the fertilizer  was found to be highly contaminated with gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria and that the preliminary studies have revealed that bacteria to be Bacillus spp. and Erwinia spp. which can be pathogenic to plants.

The National Plant Quarantine Service has issued a further report dated 27th September 2021 under the signature of the Additional Director stating inter alia that such samples are suspected to be contaminated with several bacterial species including Erwinia.

Subsequently, a final report dated 4th October 2021 also issued under the signature of the Additional Director, has stated that samples drawn from load port and the production line “were contaminated with soft-rot causing Erwinia spp” upon carrying out a purported pathogenicity test thereon.

“Therefore, I am instructed to inform you that inter alia the contents of your aforementioned test report to the effect that the samples of my client’s subject product contains Erwinia is incorrect and that such erroneous conclusion has been reached by you due to your negligent conduct inter alia by not complying or conforming with the testing and/or isolation set out in International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) diagnostic protocols for regulated pests,” lawyers said in the LOD

The LOD states that the alleged negligent conduct has had drastic and dire consequences to the Chinese company, its business and reputation.

“I am further instructed to state that due to such negligent conduct on your part my client has suffered significant loss and damage in a sum of USO 8 Million and continues to suffer further loss and damage due to loss of reputation and goodwill as well as existing and potential business,” the LOD said.

The Chinese company warned that in the event Wickramaarachchi fails to accede to the above demand then action will be taken against him in his personal capacity to recover the aforementioned damages. (Colombo Gazette)

7 COMMENTS

    • The CIA has the ability to put Sri Lanka in deep trouble. Sri Lanka has given enough space for the US and India to play their games. None alliance policy is a dangerous game. Fools are going to pay a high price for spreading their legs for anyone and everyone, like prostitutes :—)))

  1. I believe that the foolish and corrupt Sri Lankan officials played a stupid game to get out of China’s contract because they had a better deal from India. These fools have been playing stupid games since the 1940s. They kicked out Britain to follow undeveloped India, instigating hatred based on religion and language to have power, fought Asia’s longest brutal civil war for decades, insulting the dragon which helped them to conclude the brutal civil war, supporting against war crimes and invested billions of dollars to develop the country.

  2. Sri Lanka’s minister of agriculture was prompt to reject the 3rd party test, because he knew that the test would come out negative Erwinnia and he would be investigated due to bogus test. This Erwinnia is a thing from the past, modern fertilizers don’t have this stuff anymore. Next if SL wants to play a dirty game, better come out with a more complicated trick. Erwinnia is too simple and very easy to detect.

    • If that is the case, why weren’t samples sent to an independent lab for testing ? All of us are well aware that there is more to this than meets the eye.

      Which beggars the question, given that the Chinese are the facilitators of all the corrupt practices of the Mahinda Rajapaksa government, why weren’t all the required commissions paid ?

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