Minister of Agriculture Mahindananda Aluthgamage says he has taken measures to remove the Registrar of Pesticides, Jayakody Arachchige Sumith from his post with immediate effect.
Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said the decision has been taken after the Registrar of Pesticides unilaterally issued a Gazette Notification last evening to revoke the previous Gazette issued prohibiting the use, or the sale of five pesticides in certain areas.
Speaking in Parliament, Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said the Registrar of Pesticides had taken a decision that goes against the policy of the government.
He added a disciplinary inquiry against him is already underway after he had provided authorisation to a private company to import pesticides.
The Minister also noted that Registrar of Pesticides Jayakody Arachchige Sumith had provided recommendations in support of private companies while going against his mandate.
The Minister said he will also take measures to annul the Gazette issued by Registrar of Pesticides Jayakody Arachchige Sumith dated 1st of November 2021, to lift the ban imposed on the use and sale of five pesticides including glyphosate.
According to the Gazette issued yesterday, the ban imposed on the use of glyphosate, propane, carbaryl, chlorpyrifos and carbofuran within the districts of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Kurunegala, Monaragala and within the Mahiyanganaya, Rideemaliyadda, Kandaketiya Divisional Secretariat areas of the Badulla District has been revoked.
The Gazette to ban the use of five pesticides was issued on the 22nd of December 2014.
However, Registrar of Pesticides Jayakody Arachchige Sumith by virtue of powers vested in him through the Control of Pesticides Act issued the Gazette Notification in the interest of the public and on the advice of the Pesticide Technical and Advisory Committee.
Meanwhile, when inquired by NewsRadio, Registrar of Pesticides Jayakody Arachchige Sumith said the Gazette to revoke the ban was issued yesterday based on a decision taken by the Cabinet of Ministers in 2018.
He said the issuance of the Gazette was delayed since the Legal Draftsman’s Department was reviewing the decision.
Registrar of Pesticides Jayakody Arachchige Sumith noted that the Minister of Agriculture does not have powers to remove him from the post as he has not carried out any illegal activities.