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Disputed Chinese fertiliser firm threatens tough action against SK

Sri Lanka,Indo-Pak/Pakistan

Author : Indo Asian News Service

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Colombo, Dec 30 (IANS) A Chinese company which had exported a disputed organic fertilizer that was rejected by Sri Lanka is said to be pushing for tough sanctions, including restrictions on tea export from the island nation.

The fertilizer stocks of Qingdao Seawin Biotech Group Co., Ltd, was twice rejected by Sri Lanka's National Plant Quarantine Service (NPQS) after it found harmful bacteria Erwinia and refused to make payments too. This intensified fight against Sri Lanka and the Chinese company had even proposed tough sanctions to be imposed at a time the country is experiencing an economic crisis, the Daily Mirror newspaper reported.

Quoting unidentified officials of the company the newspaper reported that the Chinese company is to complain to international institutions against Sri Lanka and even urged to impose restrictions on the import of tea, for which the Sri Lanka is famous for.

The officials for the company also had alleged that some local officials had demanded a commission for selecting Seawin Biotech to import the fertilizer, the newspaper said.

According to the newspaper, in a communication to Sri Lankan contacts Chinese companies have been told not to trust Sri Lanka and even had been advised to obtain advanced payments before dispatching any products to the Indian Ocean island nation which is in dire financial crisis due extensive debts obtained at high interest rates from Beijing among other countries.

China's iron fist action comes despite Sri Lankan government has already decided to pay $6.7 million for the fertilizer which not obtained but returned due to their failure to meet the standards. The fertilizer fiasco even led a diplomatic spat between Colombo and Beijing after Sri Lanka suspended the importation of organic fertilizer from Qingdao Seawin Biotech Group Co., Ltd. after a ship carrying a 20,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer was denied entry in September.

After the fertilizer stocks were rejected, a Sri Lankan court had ordered the local People's Bank not to pay the Chinese company.

Subsequently the Economic and Commercial Office of the Chinese Embassy in Colombo blacklisted the People's Bank for failing to make the payment according to the Letter of Credit (LOC) and contracts between the two parties.

However the issue has been discussed between two governments and is expected discussed further during the visit of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to Sri Lanka in January, the Daily Mirror reported.

--IANS

sfl/ksk/

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