Colombo Municipal Commissioner, Badrani Jayawardena said they were ready to engage in discussions with villagers protesting against the 16-acre garbage dump site in Meethotamulla and provide possible solutions to their grievances, if they were willing to participate.
Commissioner Jayawardena speaking to Daily Mirror in response to the demands made to her by the protesting villagers, among which was a letter attesting an immediate halt on dumping garbage in the Meethotamulla dump site said, “I’m afraid I don’t have the authority to issue letters according to the whims and fancies of the villagers. I visited the Meethomulla site yesterday and attempted to discuss their issues but none of them were willing to participate in discussions.”
Dismissing allegations of the protestors concerning inaction Mrs. Jayawardena said, “We have not remained inactive. Already, close to 101 families have been provided Rs. 120,000 each to resettle in another location and we have also initiated several welfare programs for children in the area. So we are requesting the villagers to come to us and discuss their issues; we are willing to see what can be done.”
Villagers protesting against the 16-acre garbage dump site in Meethotamulla, Kolonnawa yesterday put forward three main demands to the Municipal Commissioner Badrani Jayawardena and vowed to continue their ‘sathyagraha’ campaign until their demands were met.
At a media briefing held before the garbage dump site yesterday, apart from a written notice attesting the immediate halt of garbage disposal at the Meethotamulla site, the protesting villagers also demanded the immediate removal of garbage-transporting tractors from the site as well as the construction of a permanent concrete barrier before the plot to block vehicle access to the site.
‘People’s Movement against the Meethotamulla Garbage dump’ Member Udul Premaratne speaking to Daily Mirror yesterday said, “Dumping of garbage in the Meethotamulla site has been continuing for the past two decades. Although initially it was supposed to be limited to just two acres, it has expanded up to 16 acres now affecting close to four villages in the area. Although the villagers have been protesting against the dumping of garbage for the past few years, the authorities have provided false promises and remained inactive concerning their grievances.”
Premaratne said during a similar protest staged by the villagers three months ago they had been promised that their demands would be met soon. “But until this Saturday, the garbage dumping continued. This time the ‘sathyagraha’ campaign we have staged will not be called off until the authorities provide effective and acceptable solutions,” he added.
Meanwhile, a study carried out by the organisation, ‘Women’s Movement for Freedom’ (WMFF) revealed that over 90% of the residents in Meethotamulla were constantly exposed to contagious diseases as a result of the waste that collected at the site. “About two weeks ago, we carried out the study on 100 households in the area and it revealed that over 80% of the residents suffered from respiratory diseases and over 70% of them suffered from skin conditions due to adverse health impacts of the garbage accumulating in the area. Our study also revealed that the waste had been mixed into local water sources and moreover, 60% of children dropped out of school as a result of the impacts of this garbage dump,” she added.
The protest and the ‘sathyagraha’ campaign organised by the ‘People’s Movement against the Meethotamulla Garbage dump’ was initiated on Saturday morning and a heavy police presence was deployed to the area yesterday. The campaign, blocking the road leading to the site is presently continuing with the participation of the Meethotamulla residents and members of civil activist groups. (Lakna Paranamanna)
Comments - 11
Calistus Jayatilleke Tuesday, 09 April 2013 08:25 AM
Time has come to recycle these arrogant public servants.
mervyn perera Monday, 08 April 2013 02:19 AM
There is a good garbage dump I can recommend to Badrani Jayawardene. (1) The Parliamentary complex
ANTON Monday, 08 April 2013 02:57 AM
SHIFT THAT TO DIYAWANNWA AREA
Ashraff Nazim Monday, 08 April 2013 06:15 AM
Please do something madam soon. Colombo is stinking.
S Jayawardene Monday, 08 April 2013 11:27 AM
You are very correct this is not what a responsible officer should utter
Hobbes Monday, 08 April 2013 06:32 AM
Yes. The main garbage center is there.
ANTON Monday, 08 April 2013 03:39 AM
BECAUSE MOST OF THE LITTER AND GARBAGE IN THIS COUNTRY ARE COLLECTED IN THIS AREA.
MIC Monday, 08 April 2013 03:39 AM
This is a minor matter when the international community is demanding that the garbage dump, i.e Sri Lanka, be cleaned up...
Naz Monday, 08 April 2013 09:44 AM
Garbage should be recycled. CMC should issue tender for it. The rest should be relocated near a forest reserve.
jayantha silva Monday, 08 April 2013 07:18 AM
It is time the authorities realised that ALL citizens have a right to live as human beings.
Rubert Vanderkoon Monday, 08 April 2013 07:28 AM
A typical arrogant, irresponsible, easily bought, and politically appointed public servent who understands no health,hygeinic issues related to public life. Everything leads to suggest that the time is ripe for the educated to take over the country.
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