Connect with us

News

Environment Ministry Secretary laments regional cabals’ control over mining of sand and granite

Published

on

By Rathindra Kuruwita

A cabal of regional politicians and businessmen had put paid to the government efforts to ensure that rural communities enjoyed the benefits of natural resources around them, Dr. Anil Jasinghe, Secretary of the Ministry of Environment said.

Jasinghe said: “When I was in the Health Ministry, I thought the pharmaceutical mafia was strong, but now I see that the sand and granite Mafia is as strong as the pharmaceutical Mafia. This Mafia controls the price of sand and granite.”

The regional politicians were controlling sand and granite extraction, and members of the vulnerable rural communities were working for them as labourers. Those politicians and businessmen also flouted laws openly, he said.

“For example, machines can’t be used to extract sand from rivers. They can only be used to extract sand from river beds but everyone knows that machines are used to extract sand directly from the forest. Our ToR is to allow the poor people to benefit from these resources but they are only labourers now”

Dr. Jasinghe said that the economic situation was not good and that members of the vulnerable communities should be allowed to enjoy the benefits of the resources around them.

He said there was a pressing need to regulate the exploitation of such resources as politicians and businessmen were destroying the environment.



Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

Avishka and Sadeera power Jaffna Kings to nine wicket win

Published

on

By

Half tons by Avishka Fernando and Sadeera Samarawickrema powered Jaffna Kings to a nine wicket win over Dambulla Aura in the 3rd match of the LPL2022  at MRICS Hambanthota on Wednesday (07)

Dambulla Aura 121/9 in 20 overs (Jordan Cox 43; Maheesh Theekshana 3/20, Vijayakanth Vijaskanth 3/24, James Fuller 2/16, Zaman Khan 1/28)

Jaffna Kings 122/1 in 15.4 overs (Avishka Fernando 51 , Sadeera Samarawickrema 62 not out; Noor Ahamed 1/28)

Continue Reading

News

Govt. says selling state assets only way to build reserves and prevent crippling shortages

Published

on

By Rathindra Kuruwita

Cabinet spokesman Minister Bandula Gunawardena yesterday (06) said Sri Lanka wouldn’t be in a position to be part of the international trading system unless it boosted its foreign reserves by selling some of its assets. Gunawardena, who also holds media and transport portfolios said so at yesterday’s post-Cabinet press briefing.

Responding to a query about the government’s decision to divest vital national assets, the Minister said that if Sri Lanka did not shore up its reserves to the tune of over three billion dollars, international companies would not accept the letters of credit given by Sri Lankan banks.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as the Finance Minister, has proposed privatising of several state enterprises including Sri Lanka Insurance and Sri Lanka Telecom.

“Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga sold a number of state owned enterprises. If we don’t increase our reserves, to over three billion USD soon, we will have problems importing fuel, and other essential items. Last week, Fitch again reduced our rating. No matter who governs Sri Lanka, they will all face the same problem. We need to build our reserves,” the Minister said.

Minister Gunawardane said that the need of the hour was to sell some assets and boost Sri Lanka’s reserves.

“China, India, Vietnam, and Malaysia are attracting a lot of investors. Only we have failed to do so, and we need to think why this is. Even our entrepreneurs are leaving for other countries. We need to change the way we think, if we want to attract investors to Sri Lanka,” he said.

Continue Reading

News

Ven Siridhamma, Mudalige granted bail; latter re-arrested

Published

on

Convenor of Bhikku Balamandalaya affiliated Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) Ven. Galwewa Siridhamma Thera leaving Court yesterday (06) after Kaduwela Magistrate Chanima Wijebandara granted him bail. The Thera was held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act for causing damages to public property during a protest opposite the Education Ministry, over three months back. The Magistrate ordered the Thera released after the police failed to identify the monk at an identification parade. However, IUSF Convenor Wasanatha Mudalige, who was also released by the Magistrate, after the police couldn’t identify him, was taken into custody in connection with some other case.

Pics by Kamal Bogoda

Continue Reading

Trending