Parliament to debate Easter PCoI report today

The debate on the report by the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the Easter Sunday attacks will continue for the fourth day today.

The attention of the house yesterday was largely directed at the controversy surrounding the stock of coconut oil containing harmful substances.

Taking the floor MP Buddhika Pathirana said coconut oil is used in all dishes regardless of race or religion differences.

The MP said the public is left with no alternative, adding that the Sri Lanka Standards Institute has become a joke due to its shortcomings.

The Parliamentarian quoted representatives of the SLSI as saying harmful substances in small amounts was permissible.

He also claimed that the SLSI which sets standards for the country, has not presented a progress report in Parliament since 2016.

In response State Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera said they did not have an opportunity to probe incidents of poisonous food imports, as it was not brought to light.

However, the State Minister said many food items harvested in the country are poisoned with carbide to make it ripen fast.

Parliamentarian Vijitha Herath joining the debate said the sugar tax scam and the coconut oil controversy are interconnected.

MP Herath said reexporting the coconut oil meant another country will use the product.

Therefore, he called on authorities to destroy the consignment.

However, he revealed the government was afraid of multinational organisations, and are therefore delaying action.

MP Herath called for a more duty conscious SLSI to be established to monitor imported consumer goods.(NR)

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