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Navy-Customs war

26 October 2010 08:16 am - 45     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The customs officers are on a strike after they were told that they need permission from the navy to enter the Colombo port from the Chaithya road.

“We will strike till we are given permission. Why do we need permission if we are working at customs for years”, a senior customs officers said.

Navy spokesman Captain Athula Senerath told media that the navy has  a list of names that has been sent to them by the Ports Authority Chairman and the Director General of Customs of those who are permitted to enter through Gate No 1. “We only allow the individuals whose names are in the list as the gate is situated in the High Security Zone (HSZ)”, he said.

“Some of the customs officers tried to bypass the navy and get the approval from the Ministry of Defence. But we told the ministry that we would not allow  them to enter through Gate No 1”, Captain Senerath said. (Supun Dias and Sanath Desmond)

Pic by  Samantha Prerea
and Romesh Danushka




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  Comments - 45

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  • Weelusumana Tuesday, 26 October 2010 10:32 AM

    Our custom officers think they are from another world; most of them are making good money illegally. During past 30 years the Terrorists bribed customs to get most of their equipments in. Navy is correct, Security First!,

    migara Tuesday, 26 October 2010 10:34 AM

    Aiyo what a demotion for Navy, after war with LTTE now they are fighting with customs!

    Inteligent Tuesday, 26 October 2010 05:08 PM

    Aiyo Attic.... can't u understand sarcasm...... Shanthapriya is being sarcastic!!!!!

    kandyan Tuesday, 26 October 2010 05:12 PM

    A list of aAll the so called custom officers must be give to the CID for investigation of their bank accounts and assets including their wives and children. All the bank accounts must abe seized and assets confiscated. How can they own flats and luxury bungalows in Colombo 7? Good job. President.

    CHAMI Tuesday, 26 October 2010 05:26 PM

    Its clear y these costum ppl opposing navy checkings..even on hight of war they wanted navy to withraw from checking at port ,Any one can understand wat is behind it ..only money ..................

    Wijaya Tuesday, 26 October 2010 05:54 PM

    Navy is making decisions over the Defense Ministry. That's why they told

    "“Some of the customs officers tried to bypass the navy and get the approval from the Ministry of Defence. But we told the minis
    try that we would not allow"

    Most powerful people in a Colombo port premises are Customs. They have power to give the permission to any vehicle or any person to enter the port and check any vehicle or any premises withing the port. (including Navy personnel and vehicles...& any) There are more than five gates to enter the port. But this problem linked with only one gate (Main Gate- Chaitheya Road gate).

    Navy cannot make any decision regarding this matter. They only provide security for the port. After the order given to them they should follow it.

    Vishvamithra Tuesday, 26 October 2010 05:56 PM

    When a person to head the grade 1 Department Customs the those who make decisions must take into account the caliber and the capacity of the person concerned. PB, the man corrupt to the core and found guilty by the SC but recalled by MR, considered only the caliber of Sudharma, which he personally aware of. As a result the whole administrative machinery in the Customs has effectively failed. Well done PB and Co now you can be proud of your 'great service' rendered to the Nation.

    RAVI Tuesday, 26 October 2010 06:12 PM

    READ BELOW. THIS HAPPENED IN 2005.

    Thursday, 25 May 2006 - 5:00 AM SL Time

    Due to the major strike launched by the Customs on Tuesday evening more than 2,000 import and export freight containers were held up at the Colombo harbor resulting in an estimated loss of Rs. two billion as revenue to the government. All Customs departments and unions took part in the massive strike, which went into its second day yesterday, after a customs officer was allegedly assaulted by an Airport Security Officer.

    The strike had also affected the prices of some essential consumer goods such as dhal, onions and sugar as most of the containers were carrying these items.


    SOMETHING LIKE THIS CAN BE HAPPENED. IS ONE GATE WORTH 2 BILLION(TWO THOUSAND MILLION) RUPEES.

    desilyi Tuesday, 26 October 2010 06:22 PM

    Port is our nation's life line not the BIA. Defending the port like their own property averted so many attempts by LTTE to deminish our lifeline during the war. But if you remeber what happened to the BIA will tell the story, if navy was just providing the security.
    Custom people don't be too vain to do your job. You have 12 more gates to enter to port.

    Dilan Tuesday, 26 October 2010 06:26 PM

    As a Customs Officer resigned and living abroad, I would like to say this Navy action id a correct decision. Please do not say that everybody is corrupt and why Customs and we need to change this attitude. Country needs to get rid of corrupt Customs officials and people are eagerly awaiting what steps authorities take to minimize this. hey guys ! lets start the anti corruption from the Customs department !
    Good luck navy !

    Lambert Tuesday, 26 October 2010 10:52 AM

    My dear Navy Officers,
    Simple matter. Just oil the palm, these customs officers wont protest at all.

    spark Wednesday, 27 October 2010 02:24 AM

    Well, did yuu also know that tamils are restricted getting permits to enter the port.

    spark Wednesday, 27 October 2010 02:34 AM

    Not neccassarily...the leaders are reluctant to bring civil justice and law into place and instead opting for ferociously controlling the citizens with maximum power available.

    spark Wednesday, 27 October 2010 02:38 AM

    Hi Vattic...Shanthapriya was making a sneering remark to the customs officers...i think u misinterpreted this. After 1.30 pm on Fridays (and on most days) they are all drunk and not approachable for anything.

    wasantha Wednesday, 27 October 2010 07:38 AM

    Port custom officers are the no 1 legal robbers in the country.They take bribes openly with out any prob.No one in Srilanka cleard goods at the port with out giving bribes to them.Well done Navy

    lonely Wednesday, 27 October 2010 03:14 AM

    well said desilyi. only selected top management personnel are given permission to enter thru gate#1 due to security reasons which should be accepted. If allowed this would be the easiest access road to SAGT than to any other institute inside the port. SAGT employees are not even allowed to enter (walk) thru the gate near GOH which is the nearest to them for no reason.

    chandiya Wednesday, 27 October 2010 07:50 AM

    This is all politics. Grow up both Navy & Customs

    Ex Army Wednesday, 27 October 2010 08:21 AM

    It is simple. Just tell the custom officers to not to come to work at all if its too hard to use any other gates. Believe me, those guys will even go to Gall Harbor to get clearance before they loose their jobs.

    alam usoof Wednesday, 27 October 2010 08:22 AM

    custom officers get 25% commission when they catch smugglers. they get 50% of cost of goods from the smugglers themselfs. I pity the smuggler as he has put his capital to secure the goods and he has to sell to make money, but these officials they dont invest any thing. Same as the corrupt politicians who take trips on public funds for there families. i hope they all get caught and get there ill gotten wealth through being gate keepers at bia or ports confisticated and rot in jail.

    AA Tuesday, 26 October 2010 08:26 AM

    such a silly thing. I am sure the president will be asked to sort out. There isn't a single official in this country who can make a constructive decision as they only know to bend their heads.

    patriot Tuesday, 26 October 2010 12:47 PM

    This not funny . as soon as solve this problem.

    Dee Tuesday, 26 October 2010 01:02 PM

    HE please solve this, no one else can.

    Sanj Tuesday, 26 October 2010 01:02 PM

    Oh!!! innocent and honest customs officers. Importers have to pay you a bit to clear anything. Why don't you try some thing like that with Navy :) Lol...

    Chathu Tuesday, 26 October 2010 08:43 AM

    But still why Custom Officers need to get permission from the Navy ??? Colombo Harbor is not their property. They are there to give security. Just like Air Force to BIA.

    rw Tuesday, 26 October 2010 09:37 AM

    Customs engage in civil duties and it is Police that should be deployed if some check is needed. Is it under emergency regulations that Navy can have a check on these officers?

    Suthi Tuesday, 26 October 2010 09:41 AM

    It is a very good decision of navy to monitor the custom officers of Sri lanka.Please check their personal properties then anyone can realize why the need pass.

    SanathW Tuesday, 26 October 2010 09:42 AM

    Hope the government starts cracking down on corruption within the Customs Dept.

    Ajithkumar Tuesday, 26 October 2010 01:34 PM

    Good Customs think they own SL ..

    Ibnu Batuta Tuesday, 26 October 2010 09:45 AM

    Even after more than one and half year Colombo is still garrison city. Foreigners will laugh at things what is happening in Sri Lanka.

    custom Tuesday, 26 October 2010 02:09 PM

    Dr.P.B.Jayasundara to resolove this as he did before with
    Former DG amid wide protests.

    srinath Tuesday, 26 October 2010 09:51 AM

    I personally experienced the crooked nature of our customs. For their corruption, They will have to pay one day. They should be strip searched while entering and leaving.

    dami Tuesday, 26 October 2010 02:13 PM

    most arrogent goverment officers in sri lanka.this is check and blance.

    Mohd Tuesday, 26 October 2010 09:53 AM

    Its Really good & it will help to improve the security at the port as who knows the theft will enter with custom uniform!!!

    malkanthi Tuesday, 26 October 2010 09:53 AM

    The most corrupted officials. Anyhow they have a valid reason.

    Percy Mandawala Wednesday, 27 October 2010 04:48 AM

    Annual asset declaration should be made compulsory to custom officers.

    Katussa Tuesday, 26 October 2010 09:59 AM

    These are surely signs of things to come. Soon we may all have to get permission to enter the Port!!!!

    Sharma Tuesday, 26 October 2010 03:05 PM

    SANATHA this is a different question. Corruption is in the government itself.

    mallie Tuesday, 26 October 2010 10:12 AM

    I am sure he will resolve this before speaking to his counterpart King of KSA over housemaid matter tonight

    backstreetBoy Tuesday, 26 October 2010 10:12 AM

    and the Air force owns the Airport and the skies while the army owns the roads.... welcome to the land of confusion !

    malkanthi Tuesday, 26 October 2010 10:17 AM

    yes, because police cannot handle their respective duties, these guys are compelled to do their work as well, eventually getting involved in the civilian affairs.

    shanthapriya Tuesday, 26 October 2010 10:21 AM

    EVERY BODY MUST KNOW THAT THE CUSTOMS OFIICERS ARE THE MOST RESPECTABLE PEOPLE IN OUR COUNTRY.
    ONE MUST NOT DISGRACE THEM AND THEIR HARD EARNED MONEY BY PUTTING SUCH BARRIERS.
    THEY MUST BE PROVIDED WITH ALL THE FACILITIES ON EARTH. ONE CAN WITNESS HOW HARD THEY WORK ESPECIALLY ON FRIDAYS AFTER 1.30 P.M.

    lord Tuesday, 26 October 2010 10:23 AM

    Come on SanathW, our civil & public servants will stop to breathe if there is no corruption. It is what you learn & practice once you join. The country is corrupt, if not our essential items would be subsidized and cost of living will not be a burden to the masses.

    Hashi Tuesday, 26 October 2010 04:33 PM

    The Customs is the most corrupt organization. Many things will be controlled if the NAVY takes over the customs duties as well. The countries security should not be taken for granted. There are customs officers who have been supporting the Rebels in the past & cleared containers for them without checking. Therefore the customs officers cannot be trusted . They have to be checked at every entry point by the NAVY.

    hb Tuesday, 26 October 2010 10:24 AM

    After they are cleared by the navy there should be another gate manned by the bribary commission officers to further search the custom officers

    vattic Tuesday, 26 October 2010 10:30 AM

    aaah u are a custom officer???But shame on you to say that "they must be provided with all the facilities". you are only a civilian when it comes to country's security and should obey the rules of the country. If you are going to talk about hard work of yours, then what should we tell our three forces effort to bring the peace on SL???


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