Ruling out any doubts of a third party or the military taking over their duties as remarked by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, as a solution to eliminate all corrupt officials, Customs trade unions yesterday warned the Government that they shall not let such a thing happen at all costs.
Convening a special press briefing at the Customs Headquarters alongside the celebrations of the International Customs Day 2021, which fell on Tuesday (26) the trade unions showed its utter displeasure and grave concerns over the recent remarks by President Rajapaksa.
A Customs Trade Unions’alliance formed with three main unions said it is ‘not fair’ that the President is saying the Customs officials in general are corrupt and have neglected their duties of meeting the country’s tax revenue income lately.
Pointing out the fact that the institution is earning more than 50% of the state tax revenue and being the chief tax collector followed by the Inland Revenue Department and the Department of Excise respectively on the second and third positions, the union leaders said it was truly demoralising to hear such comments from the first citizen of the country.
Joint Secretary Customs Staff Officials’ Union Sudath De Silva said there is an unseen force that operates against them especially by misinforming the President and making him to impose undue sanctions on the Customs.
De Silva said that they have sensed certain corrupt and powerful businessmen with the aid of a few top bureaucrats with personal agendas, trying to create this unpleasant scene against the Customs, so they could continue their financial rackets unnoticed. Vice President Customs Superintendents’ Union Lal Weerakoon said despite the blames of inefficiency the department has managed to meet the tax revenue target for the year 2020 by 99%, as never before in the history. “We were given a target of Rs.647 billion and we have earned Rs.641 billion by the end of December,” Weerakoon said.
Joint Secretary Customs Staff Officials’ Union Uditha Jayasinghe, President Customs Officials Union Lalith Ranatunga and President Superintendents of Customs’union U.A.N.R. Uduwila took part at the press briefing.(Kurulu Koojana Kariyakaraawana)
Pix by Nimalsiri Edirisinghe
Chris Wednesday, 27 January 2021 07:00 AM
Each and every customs officer must be made to declare assets. They are rich beyond means
Borat Wednesday, 27 January 2021 07:08 AM
Let the customs be the one to undo Nandasena
Michael Ranasinghe Wednesday, 27 January 2021 07:12 AM
The president is not wrong in saying that customs is corrupt . If you say that certain businessmen are behind the move to give the management of customs to a third party go ahead and name the businessmen . Your inability to do so proves what the President says .
Tom Wednesday, 27 January 2021 07:21 AM
Custom is corrupted to the core, it's the truth, if someone challenges against,bring some constructive answers to address it,otherwise it should happen as pre z suggested
Kumar Wednesday, 27 January 2021 08:09 AM
They are no more corrupt than those politicians, RDA engineers and law enforcement.
AB Wednesday, 27 January 2021 07:26 AM
Custom is corrupt,but politicians too, they take turns and do it,one main thing central bank issue just moving to past, no cases, SRI Lankan airline $2million,not bothered,so on so forth
Frank Wednesday, 27 January 2021 07:30 AM
The CURSE of all the failures in sri lanka with regard to it's progress are the cursed unions at every junction.
Lumbini Wednesday, 27 January 2021 07:31 AM
The military is not the solution for everything as some people think.
Era Wednesday, 27 January 2021 07:45 AM
Customs are corrupt so much, I would support a complete overhaul of customs despite TU opposition.
Lalith Siriwardena Wednesday, 27 January 2021 07:45 AM
We trust president than you.
Amarasena Wednesday, 27 January 2021 07:50 AM
Customs worse place. People suffer. People with President.
Chandana Wednesday, 27 January 2021 07:53 AM
Custom is 100% currpt. To open a container, to open the gate, to get documents, l can give a list, they ask for money. If you don't do that you will never get the things done. Top level ppl take bribes to clear goods at lower taxes etc. Audit dept must assess the wealth of custom officers assets.
Don Anthony Wednesday, 27 January 2021 07:58 AM
It is fair to make all custom officers declare their assets.It is an open secret that custom officers in general are not hones.This is a consensus of the society.I believe there a honest officers but very few can be under this category In a way The President has to clean up the corrupt and it is his duty towards the citizens
MirakRajBanda Wednesday, 27 January 2021 08:00 AM
Almost all of the custom officer’s children are studying in Australia with the average salary of a Superintend of Custom officer is Rs. 60,000.- Does it make any sense? It doesn't mean their accusers hands are clean too. They all get rich as fast as a MIG can fly!!!!
Investor Wednesday, 27 January 2021 08:02 AM
It is not only the customs that is corrupt. The BOI, CEB and other govt institutions have their mafia which will not allow any investments to come in unless they get their share of the pie
Sokrates Wednesday, 27 January 2021 08:11 AM
Since over one year the boss of customs is a general.
mnsmart Wednesday, 27 January 2021 09:07 AM
Only the washrooms are clean at the customs head quarters....
Local Wednesday, 27 January 2021 10:12 AM
Customs is the first gate of Goods inflows checking and charging duties, let them do it as they do currently. Let a third party engage and become the 2nd gate to validate what the customs have done is 100% accurate. This will clean all the doubts and claims over the corruptions.
hell with unions Wednesday, 27 January 2021 11:00 AM
This sounds like a threat these unions are becoming a big problem
Pushkara Epa Wednesday, 27 January 2021 11:05 AM
Edward Prasanna Wednesday, 27 January 2021 11:10 AM
I support Mr. Presedent on this matter
Jayantha hemapala Wednesday, 27 January 2021 11:28 AM
We have to be honest our self govt and customs both are corrupt. There is no if buts.
Jeewaka perera Wednesday, 27 January 2021 11:00 PM
I know 2 neighbors from my street.where they got money.. bribes and fraudulent activity from customs. Both guys kids studing in UK and AUS ..i know their salaries wont even cover their kids nick naks.or grocery bill in UK, what a wonderland in asia,. Rip Banana republic.. .
Ups Thursday, 28 January 2021 07:13 AM
When go through the comments,we can see,what customs reputation is, now pre z has to workout his threat
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