Category Archives: environmental degradation

Imminent Disasters? Exploiting Sri Lanka’s Mineral Resources

Ashley de Vos, in The Island, 16 August 2017, where the heading runs thus: “The exploitation of minerals of Sri Lanka”

If there is an asset, should it be exploited to the fullest in the shortest period of time? The traditional view would be based on very careful and controlled use. Today, in the global market place an asset is viewed very differently. As most investors in a business are interested in an ever increasing the bottom line question of eventual sustainability raises questions that need answers. Unfortunately, all exploitation has limits and if profit is the only criteria, whatever the pontification, it cannot and is not sustainable in the long term. It will always be a short term solution, to what could be a long term disaster.

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Filed under accountability, economic processes, environmental degradation, heritage, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories, modernity & modernization, population, power politics, Responsibility to Protect or R2P, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, transport and communications, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, working class conditions, world events & processes

The Jaffna Peninsula Plus: Fundamental Water Issues

Jeevan Thiagarajah,  courtesy of Daily News, 31 July 2017, where the essay is entitled “Jaffna: Dead or alive”

Many things can be inferred in the title today! The intent is to say Jaffna can become an arid dessert if it runs out of water. The Jaffna Peninsula is unique in geology and aquifer conditions. The limestone is an important aquifer, and together with thin sand layers form an extensive cover providing a source of drinking water and irrigation across the Jaffna Peninsula. The suitability of water for any use is determined not only by the total amount of salt present in the water but also by the type of salt that is present.

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Iranganie Serasinghe: Actress and Environmental Activist

Prasanna Cooray, in Island, 18 June 2017,  with the title “Irangani: Mother figure of Sinhala Cinema and Environmental Activism””

Irangani Serasinghe needs no introduction in this country. She is convinced that as for the destruction of our environment politicians have to take the blame. She says, “The worst ar e the politicians. We have to protect our trees and environment mostly from them”, said Irangani Serasinghe. At 90, yet agile and full of vigour, she has fought man a battle, tooth and nail, on the environment front for decades.

On June 3, she chaired the seminar under the theme, “Destruction of central hills – Death of future of the country” held at Mahaweli Center in Colombo where I was one of the speakers. The seminar brought to light the environmental destruction and misery brought to the lives of the people in Welimada plain by the ongoing Uma Oya multipurpose development project. There she told me she would be 90 in a few days. On June 9 Irangani celebrated her 90th birthday. Continue reading

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Predator-Proof Fence to create Huge Wild Life Sanctuary

Paige Taylor  in The Australian, 13 June 2017,   where the title is “Predator-proof ploy foils feral-fed catastrophe”

Work has begun northwest of Alice Springs on the world’s largest predator-proof animal enclosure. It has come to this for our endangered species. The 185km electrified fence will separate feral cats from the marsupials they have pushed to the edge of extinction.  The non-profit Australian Wildlife Conservancy is buying vast tracts of the bush and fencing out feral cats that kill between five and seven animals each night.

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Manmade Garbage Landslide at Meethotamulla: A World First?

Iromi Perera and Vijay Nagaraj, in http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/52489 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.

ALEPPO 22

 

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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.”

MANGROVES

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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