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UNESCO rules out reservoir construction within Sinharaja as a natural heritage site

1 April 2021 09:02 am - 7     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) has ruled out the possibility to construct a reservoir within the Sinharaja rainforest which is a natural world heritage site, an official said yesterday.

Earlier, the Irrigation Department proposed to build such a reservoir at Meegaskete in Sinharaja to the dam Gin Ganga, a river originating there, to divert water to the south-eastern parts of Sri Lanka for drinking and irrigation purposes.

UNESCO Secretary General for Sri Lanka Dr. Punchinilame Meegaswatte told Daily Mirror yesterday the proposed plan by the irrigation authorities was discussed with him, and he ruled out the possibility for such construction inside a world heritage site. Dr. Meegaswatte said the irrigation authorities and Minister Chamal Rajapaksa accepted his point in this regard.

In Sri Lanka, there are six UNESCO-declared cultural world heritage sites and two natural sites. Sinharaja and the central highlands are the two natural sites.

Dr. Meegaswatte said there are at least ten government bodies to look after these sites in various capacities.

A landmass of five hectares within the Sinharaja forest will be submerged if the reservoir is built. The UNESCO declared the Sinharaja as a natural heritage site in 1988.

Sinharaja Forest Reserve is situated in the south-west lowland wet zone of Sri Lanka. Covering an area of 8,864 hectares and ranging from an altitude of 300 – 1,170 metres, it consists of 6,092 hectares of Forest Reserve and 2,772 hectares of Proposed Forest Reserve.(Kelum Bandara) 

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  • Loyalist Thursday, 01 April 2021 09:22 AM

    Tell UNESCO not to interfere with our internal affairs. We are a sovereign country.

    Dee Thursday, 01 April 2021 09:24 AM

    Certainly proves a 'Videshiya Balavegaya' is hampering 'development'. Must feast on puff at thummulla!

    Truth matter Thursday, 01 April 2021 09:41 AM

    China does not care about UNESCO heritage or about our ecology...all what it wants is money and money and geopolitical control.

    Ronnie Bugger Thursday, 01 April 2021 09:51 AM

    Chamal Rajapaksha, mini pettiye anthima ane ganala evarai - Go dig a water hole in your back yard.

    RP Thursday, 01 April 2021 06:40 PM

    Thank you. Hopefully, the government won't lash out at UNESCO and instead, tighten the laws to protect Natural parks and Forests!

    Kadiya Friday, 02 April 2021 06:29 AM

    To continue with Loyalist's logig: 'We Sri lankans know how to shit in our country, so do not interfere'!

    Sambo Friday, 02 April 2021 07:37 AM

    Tell the Chinese no can do.


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