One of the largest Market Capitalized Stocks in the island nation, British American Tobacco owned Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC (CTC) will be one of the stocks that will be largely affected under a new regime of Maithripala Sirisena according to insiders and sources.
The insiders from the political front and CTC front both says Maithripala tried to charge money from CTC - the monopolistic cigarette manufacturer in the island nation by promoting a bogus story line in newspapers that said 'Tobacco Industry largely tried to Bribe him'.Accordingly sources note that although MR's 'Mathata Thitha Policy' increase Tobacco and Alcohol taxes keeping both of the industries healthy with exorbitant taxes....now Maithripala will try to affect the industry that will result in losing large foreign investment made in Sri Lanka by British AMerican Tobacco that is transforming traditional cigarette business to electronic cigarette manufacturing that is considered more healthier than a normal cigarette.
Further it is anticipated that Sri Lankan CTC will lose its export income earnings that it is bringing to economy from exporting Cigarette products.
But insiders according to MR regime they say that MR's policy will transform Sri Lanka's Cigarette industry to invest in hotels and other ventures while keeping Cigarette as a minor product like in India's Cigarette Manufacturer Imperial Tobacco Company - ITC group that is also building a 5 star world class property in Sri Lanka with over US $ 300 million investment in the beginning first phase.
It is discussed that John Keells Chairman Susantha Chaminda Rathnayake on board as Chairman of CTC too, who is also a close friend Dr. P.B. Jayasundera will push CTC to invest in companies such as John Keells Water Front Project or other Cinnamon Hotels under a MR Regime...however Maithripala may only take money from Tobacco industry and will ask to support only farmers in Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura without a vision.
Read former News Stories here.
The Minister of Health Sri Lanka, yesterday made a shocking revelation proving the worldwide well established notorious demeanor of the tobacco industry, their attempts to bribe politicians, policy makers and journalists etc., to hinder bringing in people friendly health policies in the country.
Generally laws are meant to protect the people of a country, but very strangely the tobacco industry demand and seek legal remedy for them to further engage in “man slaughtering”. Whoever supports such mean attempts in whatever manner to gain “wealth and benefits” holding whatever position, is a traitor, to a society, a country and the world.
Any day the result of engagement in such evil doing and supporting such ‘Vicious’ industry in crafty manner in whatever capacity, WILL have to be borne by the evil doer.
The tobacco industry in Sri Lanka states that they contributed rupees 26 billion to the government last year as tax on cigarettes. This money was not paid by the industry, but by the poor smokers who had been enticed and deceived by the industry without revealing the harmful effects of smoking. The tobacco industry has been unfaithful to its customers by refusing to portray pictorial health warnings on cigarette packets. The government spends money to treat tobacco victims who are in hospitals which is more than ten times of tobacco tax paid by the industry. Tobacco smoking makes a person sick and dies in their productive years which are a loss to the society and the families where smokers are the breadwinners of those families.
Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena stated that the tobacco industry had attempted to bribe him to block the issuance of the special gazette notification which made it mandatory for tobacco companies to print pictorial health warnings covering 80 percent of the principal area of each packet of cigarettes.
The Minister said the money offered to him was adequate to purchase properties for 15 generations of his family in one of world’s “happiest” countries which he rejected outright since he values his country and the well-being of the people. “A study places Sri Lanka at the 137th position among 194 in a list of the “world’s happiest countries.” he said.
According to the Minister, the tobacco industry had sent some people to him for a discussion while others wanted to see him at home or in Parliament. Many in the tobacco industry had wanted him to stop his anti smoking campaign. But the Minister did not want the money offered by the multinational tobacco companies, he said; “I would never betray my country and my people to any multinational company, I would never give up my struggle.”
Tobacco industry had repeatedly tried to approach the Minister when he was in Parliament, at home and in office. But he had not met them since he did not have anything to talk with them.”In terms of past history, all who fought against multinational companies were killed.”
“There is a possibility of assassinating me or my character. May be this decision will decide my political destiny. But I will never ever give into the tobacco industry. There are many organizations and the public who are supporting my crusade. I will somehow implement the 80 percent pictorial health warnings on cigarette packets with the assistance of all of them.” the Minister affirmed.
The Minister further stated that arrangement would be made to educate school children in Sri Lanka on the harmful effects of smoking. “Children, wives and shop owners would be asked to prevent their loved ones and the public from smoking.”
This revelation was made by the Minister at a felicitation ceremony held in Polonnaruwa Royal College, Rajarata Vidyalaya and Palugasdamana Vidyalaya.
- Asian Tribune -http://asiantribune.com/node/64756
Maithripala reveals tobacco industry attempt to bribe him
Money would have been sufficient for 14 generations
September 24, 2013, 9:43 pm
By Don Asoka Wijewardena
Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena yesterday said the tobacco industry had attempted to bribe him to block the issuance of the special gazette notification which made it mandatory for companies to print pictorial warnings covering 80 per cent of the principal display area of each packet of cigarette. The money offered to hime was sufficient for 14 generations to live in clover in a first world country, the minister said.
Minister Sirisena made the shocking revelation at a recent special felicitation ceremony on Monday at Royal College Polonnaruwa in recognition of the special WHO award conferred on him for his dedicated service.
The tobacco industry had sent some person to him for a discussion, while others wanted to see him at home or in Parliament, Minister Sirisena said, adding that many in the tobacco industry wanted him to stop his anti-smoking campaign. But, he did not want the money offered by the multinational tobacco companies, he said, adding that he would never betray the country and its people to any multinational company and would never give up his struggle.
As long as he was the Health Minister he would never change his principles., Minister Sirisena said, stressing that he loved his country more than any thing else and would lead the national struggle against smoking.
Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena’s allegation early this week that the tobacco industry had attempted to bribe him enough for many generations to stop new legislations on pictorial warning has shocked corporate Sri Lanka whilst Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc (CTC) has denied the move.
During a felicitation ceremony on Monday at Royal College in Polonnaruwa in recognition of WHO’s special award for him in recognition of his service, Minister Sirisena had alleged that tobacco industry had attempted to bribe him. The money offered to him was sufficient for 14 generations to live in a first world country, he had claimed.
However, CTC in a statement yesterday said: “As the only legal cigarette manufacturer in Sri Lanka, we categorically deny any involvement in the activities that have been referenced in recent media coverage.”
“CTC has operated lawfully in Sri Lanka for over 100 years. It is one of the best governed companies in the country with an impeccable reputation built on the highest standards of corporate conduct,” the statement added.
Analysts said given the standing of CTC in the corporate world and the fact that it is a subsidiary of British American Tobacco, the sixth largest company listed on the London Stock Exchange, the Minister’s allegation was serious and had a direct bearing on credentials for doing business and investing in Sri Lanka.
“Ideally, the Minister should lodge a complaint with the Bribery Commissioner for necessary action. If not he should not make statements that endanger the credibility of a multinational in Sri Lanka,” they opined.
The 111-year-old BAT has a market-leading position in over 50 countries and operations in around 180 countries.
Minister Sirisena alleged that the tobacco industry had sent some person to him for a discussion while others wanted to see him at home or in Parliament. He claimed that many in the tobacco industry wanted him to stop his anti-smoking campaign and he didn’t want the money offered.
The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the Gazette notification issued by the Health Ministry to have pictorial health warnings on 80% of the cover of cigarette packets until 22 January 2014 in view of pending hearing of related cases.http://www.ft.lk/2013/09/26/maithripalas-outburst-shocks-sri-lanka-inc-ctc-denies/