- The government was not involved in the deal as there has been a sub-contract signed in this regard
We only signed a contract with Serendib Plantations to grow organic tea. This company had got into a sub contract with Aloysius’s company for this purpose
By Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana
Dismissing allegations made by the opposition that a government owned 450 acre tea estate has been leased to Serendib Plantations owned by Geoffrey Aloysius, Chairman PTL group and father of Perpetual Treasuries Limited owner Arjun Aloysius, Minister of Plantation Industries Navin Dissanayake said the contract involved has since been cancelled.
Mr. Dissanayake was responding to questions raised in this regard in Parliament yesterday.
The Minister said the government was not involved in the deal as there has been a sub-contract signed in this regard. “We only signed a contract with Serendib Plantations to grow organic tea. This company had got into a sub contract with Aloysius’s company for this purpose. Anyway these deals have been cancelled now,” he said.
He added that Arjun Aloysius’s grandfather Kata Aloysius had also been involved in the plantation industry in the past. “One should not politicize the issue of leasing out this tea estate as we have nothing do with it. Anyway the contract has been cancelled now,” he said.
JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti earlier revealed that a 450 acre government owned tea estate has been handed over to a company owned by Geoffrey Aloysius. “Aloysius is sure to engage in the racket of mixing sugar with tea as a number of other tea industrialists do in order to increase its volume and texture, a trend that is starting to damage the country’s reputation for producing high quality tea,” he said.
UPFA MP Kanaka Herath too was of the same opinion as MP Handunnetti.