Denduru Oya And Good Governance-Both At Risk


Environmental issues have been becoming main concern of global policy makers while many global conventions have been signed and ratified by majority of world community. However, if we want to protect the environment globally, individual countries should try to implement and enforce the environmental laws in a proper manner.

Otherwise mere participations to the international conferences, broken pledges for environmental conservation with sweet words do not sufficient enough to keep the nature unharmed. In the time of previous government of Sri Lanka, there were massive allegations regarding environmental issues, corruptions of state environmental authorities and day light destructions of natural heritages. On 8 th of January 2015, current government became to power with a help of large number of civil society organizations. Among these organizations, environmental organizations also did a significant contribution towards victory of current president. He gave promises over conservation of environment, sustainable development and so many things. From, previous two and half years this government has been proving their failure nature in environmental conservation regarding various issues. What we are going to discuss about now, also can be considered as one of their major failures. “Gommuna Kanda”. Is a mountain range which is situated in Rideegama and Mawathagama divisional secretariat areas of Kurunegala District. This mountain range spreads throughout 2500 acres, while, Galmulla reserve is situated within this area. There are so many indigenous living species who living in this reserve and it has a significant archaeological value. Many ancient caves and historical ruins were found. But archaeological department has been unable to conduct at least one excavation until now. Main water resource of famous “Denduru Oya” is this “Gommuna Kanda”. This can be considered as a special environmental region. Sadly, instead of conserving this most valuable landscape as considering archaeological and natural reserve, since 2016, Kandy based company, “William Woodley” has been destructing this natural heritage to fulfill their greedy commercial desires with a help of corrupted politicians and authorized officers. Now, it’s a paradise of deforestation and stone crusher plants. Destroying and mining the graphite layers cause to soil instability and will pave the way for massive landslides in near future. While deforestation is happening due to construction of roads and infrastructure facilities towards stone crusher plants. While they are maintaining wood factories to get some additional income. The Woodleys has been occupying this area from 2016 and relevant authorities were so generous to donate this land for their illegal activities without EER (environmental evaluation report). National Environmental Authority clearly violated the National Environmental act in this case. Company was allowed to destroy forests and graphite of 255 acres of “Gommuna Kanda”.They have been still destroying it with a blessings of relevant authorities. National Environmental authority and Geological Survey and Mines Bureau should directly responsible for this environmental crime. Kurunegala district commonly popular for paddy production. Due to deforestation many water resources which starts from “Gommuna Kanda”, has been becoming dry and people of nearby 12 villages had to give up cultivation of 300-acre paddy lands also they had to give up many other agricultural lands. When country is in a food shortage due to droughts and natural issues, these type of man-made disasters should have been avoided., And 550 families of nearby Denduru Oya and Good Governance-Both at Risk villages are suffering from water shortages and even now finding drinking water has been becoming a big issue for them. This can be considered as a particular type of humanitarian crisis just like Rathupaswala. Not only for nearby villages, this can influence towards the massive water projects which are based on Denduru Oya.If Denduru Oya lost its main water resource,”Gommuna Kanda”.it will become just an another dry land in chilaw. Villagers are suffering due to water shortage and forcibly departure of beautiful natural environment. According to the Sri Lankan law, police can act against this on behalf of preventing public nuisances. Unfortunately, what really happening in the ground is police and relevant environmental officers are taking the side of destructive company and working cooperatively against protesting villagers. If that happens continuously, the unavoidable thing is people become more and more violent. Ministry of Environment is a ministry which is directly governed under the President. Denduru Oya is one of the main water resources of Sri Lanka. So, relevant authorities should consider this as a national issue. Under the good governance principles, there should be not such type of tragedies in a country. Relevant authorities should try to avoid “Gommuna” from becoming next “Rathupaswala”…

Special Gratitudes-MONLAR(Movement for Land and Agricultural Reforms)