Sun, 01 Oct 2023 Today's Paper

SL mission in London owes thousands of pounds in unpaid congestion fees: United Kingdom

16 September 2023 07:18 am - 48     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


The British Foreign Office announced that a large number of foreign embassies in London, including the Sri Lankan High Commission, owe the country millions of pounds in unpaid congestion charges.

Parliamentary Under-secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) David Rutley in a written reply to UK Parliament said that the overall amount of the debt now totals more than £145 million. Accordingly, the Sri Lankan High Commission in London owes an amount of £652,120 as a total outstanding.

However, according to Under-secretary Rutley, there are no legal grounds to exempt diplomatic missions and international organisations from the London Congestion Charge, which is comparable to a parking fee or toll charge they are required to pay.

“under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, diplomats have an obligation to respect the laws and regulations of the receiving State. The British Government therefore expects all diplomatic missions to respect UK laws and regulations, which includes payment of the Congestion Charge,” he stated. 

Among the other countries are the US, Japan, Poland, France and Germany. The London congestion charge is a fee charged on most cars and motor vehicles being driven within the Congestion Charge Zone in Central London between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday to Friday and between 12 noon and 6 p.m. on weekends. (Sunil Jayasiri)

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  Comments - 48

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  • NAGA Saturday, 16 September 2023 08:23 AM


    Tinpot president and his wasteful ways Saturday, 16 September 2023 08:31 AM

    Sorry we don't pay anything we owe, because we have the most wasteful president who spends every cent on attending useless conferences and appointing farsical cometees to help his friends out.

    Gama Rala Saturday, 16 September 2023 08:34 AM

    Close it down, it is just a drain on taxpayer of Sri Lanka.

    samson de silva Saturday, 16 September 2023 08:50 AM

    Sri Lanka is bankrupt! What part of that word don't you understand, Mr David Rutley? Sri Lanka cannot repay what they borrowed from Bangladesh. You think we'll pay your "congestion fee."

    Joker Saturday, 16 September 2023 08:55 AM

    The Debtors are all wealthy countries like US,JAPAN, POLAND, FRANCE , GERMANY AND SRI LANKA ?

    Dharma Saturday, 16 September 2023 09:39 AM

    What about the congestion fees payable to Sri Lanka for 200 years illegal occupation?

    Sarath guruge Saturday, 16 September 2023 02:10 PM

    Well said sir. What about the looted wealth?

    Jude Saturday, 16 September 2023 09:42 AM

    At today's rate the total amount owed for Congestion fee in London is whopping Rupees 260 million !! Terminate or suspend the diplomatic priviledges!! Yeah!!

    Boru Na .... Atha ..... Atha ..... Atha ...... (100% true) Saturday, 16 September 2023 09:57 AM

    No money to pay by Ranil's rouges of SLPP Govt. and we are still begging. Please write off that due payment to you.

    Do Doo Dooo Chin Saturday, 16 September 2023 09:59 AM

    Please insist our President to hold the election soon, so that if another President from SJB or JVP is elected, your debts will be settled, otherwise RW's Govt. will never settle you.

    Schockman Roxton Saturday, 16 September 2023 10:01 AM

    Our President will come there again to borrow some money. Now he had gone to Cuba and visit USA begging. This dam beggar will come to UK soon.

    sam Saturday, 16 September 2023 11:05 AM

    Due payments must be made without disgracing our country.

    Lakmal Kahawela Saturday, 16 September 2023 11:14 AM

    UK foreign office should right off this as Sri Lanka facing a debt crisis.

    AKD Saturday, 16 September 2023 11:15 AM

    Nothing new really...Sri Lanka never likes to pay any debts!

    Ram Saturday, 16 September 2023 11:23 AM

    From the definition of congestion charge this could be money due from our HC for taking politicians on tours. SL government must investigate who travelled on the charged dates and charge them or the High Commissioner for any unauthorised use of the facility to pay later

    Ram Saturday, 16 September 2023 11:27 AM

    When government favourites are appointed to Foreign Missions they help the politically supported visitors that result in this kind of expense. If the invoices were regularly checked and relevant users charged, we would have not gone into arrears.

    Sakya Saturday, 16 September 2023 11:45 AM

    A country that loves free handout must have expected those services too are a free handout for the diplomats. You forgive the charges we are bankrupt still struggling to come out of it or take it up with IMF

    CDS Saturday, 16 September 2023 11:54 AM

    Set that negligible amount partially against the items you looted from Sri Lanka, and which you shamelessly display in your British museum

    David Ruttley Saturday, 16 September 2023 02:43 PM

    Better take your refugees, illegal immigrants and fake economic refugees aka as fake students.

    Lankan Saturday, 16 September 2023 12:01 PM

    First of all why did not Sri Lankan mission apply for monthly or yearly passes for all their cars ? If you pay daily it could go up like this ? This may include extra penalty charges as well. It is utter failure of Sri Lankan mission officials who live on public money to protect the public money in this case.. This can't be like that at all. We have careless officials SL minion in London They don't care about spending the public money

    A Saturday, 16 September 2023 12:10 PM

    Hey did you pay when you invaded us used our country without permission

    CitizenP Saturday, 16 September 2023 12:40 PM

    Don't worry...IMF will help to settle this and increase PAYE tax.

    Roger D S Saturday, 16 September 2023 12:59 PM

    Sri Lanka should impose similar taxes on high end vehicles (above 1800 Cc) which are normally driven by diplomats

    Historian Saturday, 16 September 2023 01:12 PM

    @- dharma- what about the long lasting payment or yearly rental Sri Lanka owes Britain for 1) Introducing English ,a world language, which SL had made compulsory to students, 2) Coffee,Tea estates from which we are getting our income to survive daily, 3) Constructing roads all over SL, 4) Construction of railways to north to south and east to west and we have not replaced fully all the tracks,4)Unbelievable building projects and schools which even today produce well educated students, 4) amalgamated the Sinhala kingdom and the Tamil kingdom in the North and East into one Sri Lanka to produce life long ethnic conflicts which has resulted in militant actions by the minority and by the state forces rape, murder, destruction and inviting the NORTH INDIAN FORCES for unbelievable deaths to Tamil speaking people. Do you need to learn more. Visit British library to read on British rule in India and Sri Lanka.Please don’t exhibit your ignorance in this valuable news media.

    Patriot Saturday, 16 September 2023 01:36 PM

    British rob our wealth during colonial days. No need to pay

    Sunninamal Saturday, 16 September 2023 01:53 PM

    Send an accurately calculated Conjesion bill to Ranil or wait till Sajit come to power.

    Cherath Saturday, 16 September 2023 02:13 PM

    Why and how did these debts mount up? For a humble citizen if you dont pay the congestion charge within 7 days a hefty penalty is imposed followed by a court appearance. The Mayor's office is at fault partially as is was clearly complacent in enforcing the law on foreign mission owned vehicles. As for the £652,120 owed by Sri Lankan HC, you wont get even a £1. Reason - they only beg and get, never pay.

    Lester Croos Dabrera Saturday, 16 September 2023 02:19 PM

    Can you please give us all the loot when you were in SL

    Ger Saturday, 16 September 2023 02:33 PM

    Outside of Africa Sri Lanka is the worst run country in the world

    Roger Halliday Saturday, 16 September 2023 02:44 PM

    This government has all corrupt officials. From the top RW to the lowest in our country they are experts in cheating robbing and working for commission. It would be to close the embassy cos they are good for nothing

    navratne willamune Saturday, 16 September 2023 02:46 PM

    200 years of occupation of Srilanka.looted wealth etc would run in to billions of pounds.In the Caribbean nations have submitted huge bill to UK for eploits during colonial era. we should do the same

    Em Saturday, 16 September 2023 02:52 PM

    Deduct it from the pending payment amount of colonial loots

    Sammy Saturday, 16 September 2023 03:37 PM

    The embassy officials don't deserve to be driving in these congestion zones. Normal routes can save money for the country.

    Lokka Saturday, 16 September 2023 03:41 PM

    All mission should close ,, Workers always on selfie on Facebook and sleepy on the mission

    ANNECUNT Saturday, 16 September 2023 04:02 PM

    We sri-lankans does not want this high commission in london --no benifit for us -- just cose it down

    Tissa Fernando Saturday, 16 September 2023 05:34 PM

    The UK should settle this amount from what they looted from these countries for decades or centuries.

    ANNECUNT Saturday, 16 September 2023 06:07 PM

    This sri-lankan mission does not help any of the citizens of sri-lankan in london it only helps the corrupt parlimentarians and their relations , so please close it down. our politicians put 22million people into hunger and my children are fainting at school

    UMAS ALI Saturday, 16 September 2023 06:10 PM

    Even the tseunami relief money you sent to sri-lanka was stolen by our politicians , and the politicians live in luxuary

    World at a glance! Saturday, 16 September 2023 06:56 PM

    I really don’t understand the purpose as to why these guys even exist in London! Got my Sri Lankan passport printed incorrectly twice! Printed my name incorrectly twice! Acts like a postbox. Mailing things from London to UK! Cannot converse in English! Just a waste of space! Can get a passport but can’t get a National ID card from UK! Passport is invalid on landing without an ID card! Ridiculous system! Why on Earth do you need an ID card when you have a passport! Why issue a passport if it’s invalid without an ID! Nonsense logic! Can’t think properly! Absolutely useless resident mission!

    M perera Saturday, 16 September 2023 08:07 PM

    what about the plunder and theft you the british government for the 200 year plus rule in SL?

    Zaza Sunday, 17 September 2023 12:10 AM

    British occupation of India, they certainly robbed enough. What did they rob from us? UK you are killing us with your democracy.......

    Giriulle Pala Sunday, 17 September 2023 01:02 AM

    London current HC is an excellent example of wasting public funds and stealing all. This man has appointed again after destroying the UNP joining Myna and loosing and kicking by Myna! How can he pay all!!

    Do Sunday, 17 September 2023 02:22 AM

    Asking(begging) exhorbitant congestion charges from diplomatic missions ???what beggers these British have become!! No wonder US, Japan, Poland, France and Germany are not paying...all other countries should impose even more exorbitant congestion charges on every British high commission to teach these unethical beggers a lesson..

    Alli Sunday, 17 September 2023 02:31 AM

    Some of you are so ignorant pathetic historians ! If you are going on about the British colonial days why don't you also talk about the Dutch, Portugese etc.. A lot of nations were colonized and they have moved on and are better nations. Only the fools from Sri Lanka are still going on about it and don't seem to understand that the problems are caused due to the stupid idiotic parliamentarians of SL. Time to grow up !!

    Balusinhage Sumathi Monday, 18 September 2023 03:36 AM

    Unwanted Gon Was have been appointed as diplomats of SL by Ponna Sinha after the bankrupt Gobbaya/ Myna/Kaputa! All have invested all over the world and getting profit from poor man. These debts need to be paid by the poor man lifetime savings!

    UMAS ALI Monday, 18 September 2023 03:05 PM


    ANNECUNT Monday, 18 September 2023 03:17 PM


    Ranil Monday, 18 September 2023 07:20 PM

    Why should Sri Lanka or her people pay this debt? The UK is aware of all the assets that our politicians and their henchmen have invested after plundering the our country and robbing from our people. If the UK claims as a "civilized" democracy then seize those assets paid for by for from ill gotten means.

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