By Ranil Senanayake –
Open Letter to the Government of Sri Lanka.
By means of :
Prime Minister Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe
Minister Hon. Rajitha Senaratne
Minister Hon Lakshman Kiriella
On the Port City Assessment
I am writing this open letter to you all as I have doubts that you may obtain it through the layers of bureaucracy and entrenched interests that assistance the proposed ‘Port City’ project. A recent news report quotes a senior government spokesman stating that a “comprehensive review would look into every single aspect of the project, including its environmental influence.” Naturally a ‘comprehensive review’ will take a handful of weeks at least for a project this size and any selection taken in a couple of days would mean that no ‘comprehensive review’ has been undertaken and we are as soon as once again lulled into a state of false complacency whilst our nations future is dismantled.
It will be salutatory to have the names of the scientists who are on the ‘comprehensive review’ committee, as there is severe doubt of good quality of function by the ‘scientists’ who performed the initial EIA, which we the public have no access to as but. We trust that you will not continue the underhand, opaque transaction procedures of the last government and be tarred with the same brush, we trust that you will you give us the Government that you promised us, open and transparent. I as the only qualified Systems Ecologist in this nation, offer you my services to this nation and to you GRATIS in the defense of this nation, if you are to set up an independent Sri Lankan committee to investigate the EIA that allowed the “Port City’ to proceed.
As we, the public have not has access to ‘Environmental Influence Assessment (EIA) that has been done in regard to this project there are some serious issues that I would request you to take into account. These considerations are basic, they effect this nation far into the future and if not addressed could produce irreparable adverse consequences for the public of this nation. Could I list a couple of to illustrate the magnitude of the problem?
- Air Good quality. The pollution from the new city will be swept into Colombo city by the prevailing sea breeze. Will there be controls of the air quality in the new city, so that the residents of Colombo will not have to endure improved rates of emphysema, lung cancer and connected illnesses? How will be the requirements for air good quality from the new city be set and monitored?
- Water Quality. The new city will require huge quantities of fresh water for its use. Exactly where will this water come from? There is not enough surface water in the Kelani basin to supply such a quantity. Will the citizens of this nation have to compete with the new city for its fresh water ?
- Where will the energy to operate the new city come from? At the moment we are advertising harmful coal fired energy plants that have been demonstrated to bring ill overall health to our citizens, destroy our agriculture, poison our fishery and ruin our heritage. Will this new power requirements be met with more such disastrous power generation being foisted on our nation?
- Garbage and pollution. Who will deal with the garbage and toxic effluents that will be generated by the new city? Will Sri Lanka be utilised as the dumping ground for the new city? What waste therapies plans are in spot, recognized by the current EIA?
- Destruction of the land environment. The massive amount of rocks that will be used in filling up the sea has to come from our land. What will be the effects of this blasting and quarrying? We have already witnessed the earth slips and erosion at Koslanda and elsewhere by means of bad land use practices.
There are numerous other considerations including offshore sand transport, marine biodiversity and climate adjust impacts that must appear in a reasonable EIA. Therefore it is clear that any ‘comprehensive review’ will have to address these problems. To do much less will be to cheat the public. Hence we the public, await an open discussion.
Please do appear about to see the other equivalent difficulties designed without having consultation with the public, the Chinese Trans Canal project in Nicaragua is a case at point. Already a massive segment of the population are dissatisfied with the secrecy and political instability looms. Such secretive contracts, will often breed national discontentment.
Wishing your new government effectively in its endeavor to defend this nation and to bring us prosperity and nicely being.