Jaffna traders required to bribe government officials in Colombo
[TamilNet, Thursday, 28 May 2009, 09:53 GMT]
Traders in Jaffna peninsula have to bribe government officials to expedite transport of goods from Colombo in lorries through A9 land route, representatives of Jaffna Traders Union (JTU) told the visiting delegation of Colombo Chamber of Commerce, Wednesday, in Jaffna. Despite wide publicity by Sri Lanka government that the A9 route is available for public use, transport of goods along this route has taken place only four times since its opening, sources in Jaffna said.
The traders transporting goods to Jaffna by lorries should first hand over the goods to the store of the Commissioner of Essential Services after which the goods are transported in vehicles hired from the government.
It takes more than two months for the traders to have their goods transported according to this procedure.
However, the officials in charge of this procedure will expedite the transport if money from 50,000 to 1,000,000 rupees is given as bribe, JTU representatives informed the visiting delegation to their utter astonishment.
Nearly 98% of the goods brought to Jaffna peninsula from Colombo continue to be shipped though the government says that the A9 land route is open for public use.
Meanwhile, it was found out that one of the five members of the Colombo Chamber of Commerce was an official of the Sri Lankan government peace secretariat, JTU representatives said.