Category Archives: environmental degradation

Manmade Garbage Landslide at Meethotamulla: A World First?

Iromi Perera and Vijay Nagaraj, in where the title runs “Meethotamulla: The tragedy of the poor victimised in the name of development”

On the afternoon of 14 April tonnes of garbage at Meethotamulla, one of the biggest dumping sites just outside Colombo, came crashing down destroying scores of homes. At the time of writing, the death toll was reportedly 26 but was expected to rise. There have been serious allegations made by the affected community that rescue efforts did not even begin in earnest till very late into the night owing to a lack of direction and the failure of authorities. According to Nuwan Bopage, a lawyer representing residents of Meethotamulla, people were left using shovels to get to those buried. “During that whole time we could hear the dying breath of those buried under the garbage,” he said at a media conference the next day.

Meethotamulla Rahula Vidyalaya

Behind the tragedy is a litany of broken promises—including an assurance by the Prime Minister himself in 2015 of solving the problem within six months—and protests being met with tear gas or batons. A group of residents from Meethotamulla approached the Supreme Court in 2014 seeking to stop the dumping of garbage.
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Aleppo Then and Now in Pictures

Photo Comparison: Aleppo City – Before and After ‘Arab Spring’

The Viralscape website released a series of interesting photos that allows to observe how the Arab Spring and its results changed the city of Aleppo.



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A World First in Ecological Care: Mangroves of Sri Lanka rendered a Protected Habitat

Sri Lanka first nation to protect all mangrove forests”

Sri Lanka has become the first nation in the world to comprehensively protect all of its mangrove forests. A scheme backed by the government will include alternative job training, replanting projects and microloans. Mangroves are considered to be one of the world’s most at-risk habitats, with more than half being lost or destroyed in the past century. Conservationists hope other mangrove-rich nations will follow suit and adopt a similar protection model. Commenting on the agreement, Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena said: “It is the responsibility and the necessity of all government institutions, private institutions, non-government organisations, researchers, intelligentsia and civil community to be united to protect the mangrove ecosystem.”


The Sri Lankan government is a joint partner overseeing the measures, alongside global NGO Seacology, and Sri Lanka-based Sudeesa, which was formerly known as the Small Fishers Federation of Lanka. Seacology executive director Duane Silverstein said the pioneering framework had “extreme importance as a model” that could be used throughout the world. Continue reading

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Chris Panabokke, exemplary soil scientist, turns 88

Ranjit Mulleriyawa, in The Nation, 3 March 2014

CHRIS PANABOKKEMention the name CR Panabokke, and the first thing that comes to one’s mind is soil science. Indeed, he is unquestionably the foremost soil scientist produced by our country to date, as well as one of Asia’s most renowned soil scientists. He has authored many books and published over 30 research papers in reputed International journals in addition to presenting 35 scientific papers at national and international workshops/conferences on: Soils of Sri Lanka and fertilizer use, groundwater conditions in Sri Lanka, small village tank systems, and agro-ecological environments of Sri Lanka. Continue reading


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Estimates of the Death Toll among the Fighting Forces of the LTTE and Government of Sri Lanka

Michael Roberts

49c-Balraj with fellow fighters on a Main Battle Tank seized by the Tigers in IththaavilCol Balraj and Tiger fighters after the capture of a battle tank during the encirclement of Elephant Pass in April 2000…. SEE


1a = 21,051 from 27 Nov. 1982 [Shankar] – 6 June 2008 ………………………………………………of which 4,535 or 21.5 % were female.[1]

1b = ??? 13,000 as a guess for rest of the period June 2008-end 2009… ……………………………………………………….making a total of ………….34,000 perhaps?

2 = 22,247 cadres (with 11,812 identified by name during Eelam War IV alone[2]

3 = thereby suggesting that the total Liberation Tiger losses for the whole period 1982-2009 could even add up to 40,000 (being 22,000 for E-War IV and roughly 18,000 in the three previous phases of war) Continue reading


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See Through Skirts are the IN thing!


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Acid waterlevels in Weliweriya region: Knee-jerk reactions in closing a cutting edge-factory

Mevan Pieris, in The Island, 11 August 2011, which has the title Keeping Dipped Products Glove Factory Closed Seems a Huge Mistake and a National Disaster”

I have read with great concern and sorrow, the reports that have appeared in the news papers regarding the events that have led to the temporary closure of Dipped Products Plc factory at Weliweriya. This organization began as a joint venture between Hayleys Ltd and Richard Pieris & Co Ltd in the mid-1970s at Kottawa, to add value to raw rubber at a time when the latex based glove making industry of our country was in its infancy. The venture began to produce gloves for the export market without any foreign technologists assisting, and has since then, grown to be the world’s fifth largest producer of household & industrial rubber gloves, in the world. During this journey, Dipped Products Plc (DPL ) has expanded operations to Weliweriya and Hanwella, generating employment to many Sri Lankans and has made a major contribution towards earning a good image for Sri Lanka in the global market, as a centre of excellence in rubber glove production. DPL has even been able to set up factories in other parts of the world and can be considered to be one of the best examples of how Sri Lankans can by their own capabilities, with little or no assistance from foreigners, become a global giant. Needless to say, during this period DPL has taken enormous care not to damage the external environment. A very high standard of social responsibility has been displayed by this organization. I have very recently supervised an undergraduate research project of the waste water disposal system at DPL and write this article with first hand knowledge of DPL practices, in the fervent hope that it would contribute towards solving the prevailing problem of national importance. Continue reading


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