It has revealed that the Director in charge of the Geological survey and Mines Bureau Sajjana Silva is at the helm of this illegal activity of excavating of the quartz petroleum deposit was claimed by the Director of Environmental Conservation Trust Sajeeva Charmikara. He had said that this has been done on the instructions of the secretary of the ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment Secretary Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment Udaya R Seneviratne...
This area of the white quartz deposit under question belongs to the Wellawaya divisional secretariat division under the Uma Oya project close to the "alikota aara' reservoir border is a water nourished main forest....
It is reported that from the Kotikanbokka forest a area of six acres has been separated for this proposed excavation exercise.It is reported that the Kotikanbokka forest is one where elephants are rampant but has a weather mixed with rain and dry weather and is described as a ever green forest..In one part is the "sevana' project was what was added by the Sajeewa Charmikara..His view is that excation of quartz mineral should be excluded and for the transportation of petroleum products within the forest the construction of roads have been planned.
However for excavation of petroleum a performance review meeting had been held by the Ministries of Mahaweli development and .environment presided by the President Maithripala Sirisena who had grated permission and given advise.
This had been revealed by the letter reference 03/02/05/23/JSMB sent by the Secretary of the ministry of Mahaveli development and environment to the chairman of the geological survey amd mines bureau.
.It is said that this attempt to excavate the quartz deposit had been during the past regime also..
It is learnt that then the minister of power and renewable enrgy Susil Premajayantha by using his political powers had also attempted this excavation.It is learnt that Susil Premajayanth had against all odds had allowed his son,three close associates,the wife of former chairman of the Wellawaya provincial council. had promoted this exercise by providing them with necessary equipment and four permits for excavation of white quartz.The permits were forced to be issued by the authorities of the geological survey and mines bureau.
However owing to the heavy protests by the the environmentalists they had been forced to suspend the excavation work.However once gain another round of this activity has commenced under the 'yahapalana' government.
This is an illegal Act according to the amendment to act of 2009 number 65 of wild conservation ordinance section 20.In the meantime according to the national environmental act 1980 number 47 a gazette notification had been issued on 24th June 1993 it had been stated that if an area of more than one hectare of forest is cleared for any purpose a written permission in writing has to be obtained from the environmental authorities.
In addition it is said that the approval of the archaeological act. permission need to be sort from the department of the archaeology,It is however very strange that such permission have not be taken in this instance case,.
In this context all environmental laws have been challenged and flouted .and at the same time wings of the yahapalana government have begun to spread widely towards this cause.In this context a question that we anxiously need to ask the President is what happened to what was preached by him that the environment would be protected at any cost and would know what he is doing?.