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Threats to env. Scientist

2 September 2011 02:30 pm - 12     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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An environmentalist, who had reported that a rare species of fish had been spotted along the Mahaweli River at Warathenna in Kandy where a private hydro power project had been constructed, said today that some unidentified elements were trying to cause trouble for him.

The rare species of fish known as Labeo Fisheri and also called the ‘Gadaya’ was believed to be extinct for several years up until recently when it was rediscovered during blasting at a hydro power project in the stretch of the Mahaweli river along the Peradeniya-Katugastota highway in Warathenna. When the issue came to light the hydro power project was temporarily suspended on August 2 and is currently being investigated by the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) and other environmental groups.

The environmental scientist Pradeep Samarawickerama said that since a few days ago a number of people claiming to be from the Police Intelligence Service travelling in vehicles from the Western Province had questioned people living in the vicinity of his residence asking for information on him. He said on one occasion the officials had interrogated him personally.

“They asked me about information I had given to the media on the issue. I refused to give any information and demanded to see their police identification. Their identification read VIP security and not intelligence service contrary to what they said. I suspect that the power project is backed by a politically influential person, which is why I am now facing these difficulties,” Samarawickerama said.

He said the Warathenna temple incumbent priest who had also disclosed information on the species of fish at the power project has also been subject to questioning from the same people. He said that both he and the priest have made police entries. 

Last week the CEA met with officials from the hydro power project, other government institution and environmental experts to discuss the issue. He said the interference began thereafter. (By Olindhi Jayasundere)
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  Comments - 12

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  • ElectroMan Saturday, 03 September 2011 06:52 AM

    The power industry is much more corrupt and cunning than anyone of us had ever imagined. Some larger investigations needs to be launched into how these "private" power projects are permitted.

    citizen Saturday, 03 September 2011 01:20 PM

    Might is right.

    Justin Bulathgamuwa Saturday, 03 September 2011 01:32 PM

    Next to corruption, thuggery and underworld culture have been the other achievements of this government.

    Saman Angulana Monday, 05 September 2011 01:57 AM

    OUR wetlens fast becoming extincting. Our forests dissappearing faster than ever. Palm oil becoming a real hazzarad & we might be another Bornio story if this palm oil continues. Now we loose our water reserves too & the bio diversity. People please at against & dont be bullied by small financial gains........

    kishan Friday, 02 September 2011 04:55 PM

    definitely work of grease yakkas

    Sammy Sunday, 04 September 2011 02:44 AM

    Assaults & threats seem to have become a way of life in this country, with no serious effort made to deter these.

    Nagaragiri Kiththil Sunday, 04 September 2011 06:39 AM

    We need Anna Hazare here.

    Ram Friday, 02 September 2011 10:21 PM

    Suppressing the views by assault and threat have been the norm of the day for the Politicos. These cannot be remedied for years to come. Sad for Mother lanka
    Ram

    Colombus Friday, 02 September 2011 11:20 PM

    those are not VIP security, their common identification is "RAJA PURUSHAYO (KINGS SERVENTS)"

    ampare son Saturday, 03 September 2011 12:46 AM

    Give to chance start hydro electricity project.

    Jodie Windenburg Monday, 05 September 2011 05:19 AM

    This government has no respect for nature and wildlife. We need to save them for our Children and their Children. The hambanthota Stadium was built by destroying Elephant habitats and will be expansed if we win the bid for 2018 CWG. I would say we petition to CWG offering committee not to grant Hambanthota 2018,

    Saman Angulana Saturday, 03 September 2011 03:33 AM

    This is a classic example for coporate power. What happened to ARCENIC issue. Nice coverup by making thousand stories. This is what Shell, BP & AXION does to run their oveseas operations....TYhe difference they more often than not bribe influence people. Here they Scare them.....We should oppose these corporations & unsustainable projects destroys our environemnt....PLEASE ACT NOW....RAISE YUR VOICE AGAINST such projects !!!!


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