ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 33
Financial Times  

Former Tea Board head strikes again

By Chathuri Dissanayake

Former chairman of the Tea Board, B.A.C. Abeywardane on Tuesday conducted a staff meeting inside the board premises adding more fuel to confusion in the board administration.

Abeywardane also withdrew the case he filed in the Appeal Court against the Minister of Plantation Industries, its secretary and the entire Tea Board - and filed a similar action in the District Court on January 4. He was granted a fresh enjoining order barring the Tea Board from holding any meetings or passing of resolutions without his presence.

On Tuesday, he informed staff officers to submit any board papers to be taken up at the board meeting which he scheduled for January 19.

The former chairman also instructed the secretary of the current chairman of the board to inform the board members of the meeting. However, The Sunday Times FT learns the board members have decided not to attend this meeting.

Current chairman Lalith Hettiarachchi said due to the court case the board is unable to submit the budget for 2007 that the Ministry has requested urgently.

All promotional matters have also been crippled.

“The board is also unable to take any decision on industry development matters such as the awarding of replanting subsidies of plantations and factory modernization subsidies as the board cannot meet or take any decision on anything.

Another crucial matter is purchase of laboratory equipment which is used for testing the residue levels which the importers are so keen on.

The lab building has been constructed. All these issues require board decisions to be taken and implemented which we cannot do now,” said Hettiarachchi.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.