Who is in charge of looking after the environment of the oppressed?

Sri Lanka: Occupation Army of the North and the East assisted by the Governors are destroying the

''When the CM went to Thunukkai, Mallavi and other villages in the region the farmers complained
that the Security Forces have taken large areas of land and are doing farming and are depriving them
of their livelihood. They are not able to cut down trees from their own compound to make doors and
windows for their houses whereas lorry-loads of timber are being cut and transported by people
from the South with the support of the Security forces'' -June 2014 Situation report from Jaffna
Catholic Diocese, http://www.scribd.com/doc/232572616/Situation-Report-June-2014-Jaffna-

''.... The digging up of limestone in Kankasanthurai, within the high security zone which is accessible
only to the military had led to the possibility of sea water coming inland and to the possible loss of
land to sea erosion. ..... Three months after the holding of the Northern Provincial Council election, it
is incumbent on President Mahinda Rajapaksa to make the Governor’s post-election role clear and
thereby empower the Northern Provincial Council. As a former army general, Governor Chandrasiri
will surely take his orders from his Commander-in-Chief. But so far alas, this does not appear to
have been done. ” - Commander-In-Chief Must Give The Right Order For Constructive Transition,
Jehan Perera, 16 December 2013, https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/commander-in-

‘’Large hotels are being built contaminating ground water and serving liquor near schools. When a
Tamil industrialist (RAMCO) refused to restart KKS Cement saying the ecology cannot bear it, a
Nepalese was brought in to tear our landscape apart. The police beat signs of Tamil aspirations into
silence and do price controls to take bribes. Our institutions are mismanaged by political stooges” –
S.Ratnajeevan H. Hoole, 30 June 2013, https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/tamil-

News-reports state that in Ariyalai East, contractors carry away 25 tractor-loads of sand for a fee of
Rs. 10,000 to soldiers. The land is denuded. In these circumstances DIG-North Eric Perera’s
statement that crime in the North is out of control and he is taking action seems disingenuous – his
men never respond when telephoned upon seeing the tractors.- 2 Feb 2013,

‘’Sri Lanka's tourist development agency has offered islets, hundreds of acres of land bordering
beaches, a wildlife reserve and a wetland on 99-year leases to build tourism related projects’’ - Sri
Lanka offers islets, beaches, wetland on 99-year leases for tourism, 27 August 2012,

Lanka’s people paying high price of tourist drive, Edward Mortimer, Chair, The Sri Lanka Campaign
for Peace and Justice3 April 2012, http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/7887744a-7426-11e1-bcec-

”There were some allegations that especially in Manner area Southern fishers are supported by
military forces. Some fishermen in Karainagar explained the negative impact of the Southern fishers’
arrival to the North. The low income categories were mostly affected by some environmentally
harmful methods used by them such as blasting of shells; using cylinders to catch conches and using
‘small eye nets’ to capture prawns by the fishermen coming from Negombo, Beruwala and Matara
areas. A community leader claimed that “if this happens in their areas, the government’s response
would have been different. But here they are able to destroy our resources, without facing to any
charge” – Fishing in Turbulent Waters, 31 March 2012, http://groundviews.org/2012/03/31/fishing-

Illegal sand mining continues in East with Colombo backing, 7 February 2012,

SLA assaults, threatens activists who protest against sand mining in Batticaloa, 29 December 2011,

''SL fisheries department has banned catching conch shells in Jaffna since last December, considering
the already endangered situation for the species. But the Sinhala fishermen who come from the
south in the guise of catching sea cucumbers, eye on the conches. Very soon the historical Jaffna
Chank will be an endangered species, the local fishermen said - Point Pedro to Mullaiththeevu coast
encroached by Sinhala fishermen, 24 May 2011,

‘’ But the real bombshell in the interview Iranganie saves for last, when she speaks of the incredible
devastation of the environment in Hambantota (the electoral district of Mahinda Rajapaksa), where
over 6,000 acres of forest land are earmarked to be cleared’’ - In conversation with Iranganie
Serasinghe: Environmentalist and cinematic icon, 18 April 2011,

'‘The Govt. under the pretext of development of the north is transporting the trees , earth and sand
via the Army to the south . If anybody opposes this action of the Govt., he is either murdered or is
abducted by the white Van, they added’’ - What is truly going on after the war in the North Sri
Lanka? 'LeN expose’ after the tour, 16 March 2011,

''Ketheeswaran Thevarajah, who was working in a post office in Vadamaraadchi and was killed
Friday night was an environmentalist, who was protesting to scooping of sand in Vadamaraadchi
that was causing environmental damages. He has also provided in-depth reports to local media on
the environmental damage inflicted on his village. The sand dunes recently scooped by politically
sponsored contractors run by EPDP paramilitary in Jaffna'' - Killed Tamil youth of Postal Department
was an environmentalist; 1 January 2011, http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-535623

''Two weeks ago, Tamil fishermen in SLA occupied areas in Vadamaraadchi East in Jaffna peninsula
accused the SLA officials for bringing in Sinhala fishermen from South who catch sea cucumber and
conch shells in great quantities in the seas of Kudaththanai and Ma’natkaadu where local fishermen
are not permitted to fish freely by the SLA'' -Southern fishermen occupying Vadamaraadchi accused
of sexual harassment, 4 November 2010, http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=32939

” Fishermen in the Sri Lankan port of Trincomalee hoped the end of the island’s civil war would bring
prosperity, but dynamite and corruption now threaten their livelihoods. … big operators bribe
authorities and use dynamite to kill large numbers of fish, also damaging coral reefs” - Sri Lankan
fishermen hard hit by peace, 2 September 2010, http://www.france24.com/en/20100902-sri-lankan-

‘‘Sinhalese fishermen have been brought under naval protection to fish in the sea off Mannar Island
without any restriction. … The trawlers with Sinhalese fishermen use large Japanese nets of a kind
now banned internationally, which drag the seabed, pulling out coral, the nets of local fishermen
and damaging the breeding ground, eggs, weeds and fish fodder” - A Marred Victory and a Defeat
Pregnant with Foreboding, 10 June 2009, http://www.uthr.org/SpecialReports/spreport32.htm#

”during Sri Lanka’s civil strife, 5 million trees have been cut down for military purposes.” - MESSAGE
AND ARMED CONFLICTS, 6 November 2004, http://www.unep.org/PDF/SG_message_conflict.pdf

2.Economic oppression leads to unsustainable dependency on environment in the North and leads
to deforestation and political oppression prevents maintenance of sustainable environment.
a.Deforestation in Sri Lanka
Photo: NASA satellite view of Sri Lanka revealing sparser areas of forest to the north and east of the

'' ...The problem of deforestation in Sri Lanka is not as significant in the southern mountainous
regions as it is in northern Sri Lanka, largely due to the nature of environmental protection.[3]
.....Villagers have been known to cut down forest illegally with serious pressure to meet energy
needs, particularly in northern Sri Lanka, but overall illegal logging in Sri Lanka is relatively low
compared to many countries affected by this environmental problem at the beginning of the 21st

[2]^ "Sri Lanka". www.mongabay.com. Mongabay. Retrieved April 22, 2009.
[3]^ "Estimating Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Sri Lanka". University of Gothenburg. 25–
28 August 2008. Retrieved April 22, 2009.[dead link]
[10]^ Summary of Major Issues". Department of Forestry of the Food and Agriculture Organization.
Retrieved April 22, 2009
(This page was last modified on 1 August 2013 at 22:27).

b. Environment of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's forests are amongst the most floristically rich in Asia and for some faunal groups, it has
the highest density of species diversity in the world. The southwest portion of the island, where the
influence of the moisture-bearing southwest monsoon is strongest, is home to the Sri Lanka lowland
rain forests. At higher elevations they make the transition to the Sri Lanka montane rain forests.
Both these tropical moist forest ecoregions bear strong affinities to those of India's Western Ghats.
The northern and eastern portions of the island are considerably drier, lying in the rain shadow of
the central highlands. The Sri Lanka dry-zone dry evergreen forests are a tropical dry broadleaf
forest ecoregion, which, like the neighbouring East Deccan dry evergreen forests of India's
Coromandel Coast, is characterised by evergreen trees, rather than the dry-season deciduous trees
that predominate in most other tropical dry broadleaf forests.
Deforestation in Sri Lanka is one of the most serious environmental issues.
(This page was last modified on 28 July 2013 at 18:50.)

c. Environmental Protection And Sustainable Development In Sri Lanka, 8 July 2012

'' .....However with a long history of policy and laws towards environmental protection,
deforestation rates of primary cover have actually decreased to 35 percent since the end of the
1990s due to a strong history of conservation measures. The problem of deforestation in Sri Lanka is
not as significant in the southern mountainous regions as it is in northern Sri Lanka, largely due to
the nature of environmental protection.
The abominable wasteful expenditure of public funds should be terminated forthwith for the welfare
of the country. ... We as Sri Lankans may now understand the reason why corrupt politicians and
public officials do nothing for the motherland but relax and enjoy their existence wasting public

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