21 September, 2020

Blog

Meethotamulla Tragedy To Be Duplicated At Muthurajawela?

By Basil Fernando

Basil Fernando

Dealing with the Meethotamulla waste dump has now become a major national problem for Sri Lanka. At least 30 persons have lost their lives due to the collapse of the waste dump. Many others might have died or suffered serious diseases due to the existence of this waste dump polluting the entire environment over a long period of time.

The problem now, is where to dump this mountain of waste. It was not long ago that people in the Ja-Ela Negombo area organised protests to prevent a waste dump being created in their area. Realising early on what could be brought into their midst, the people had sufficient sense to come together and prevent a disaster in their vicinity.

The next location suggested for the waste appears to be the unfortunate Muthurajawela area, which was once one of Sri Lanka’s greatest paddy fields, yielding the best of rice to feed the population. The area is now a waste land, due to the Hamilton Canal, which while built to provide water for the paddy fields, did not take into account the tides bringing in salt water from the sea at times. Over a long period of time, the salt water destroyed one of the best paddy fields in the country.

Subsequently, there was a discussion of creating gas from whatever has become of this paddy field, but nothing ever materialised towards this end. Since then, there have been many misadventures attempted in this area, the latest being a waste dump.

Muthurajawela villagers and community leaders, including Catholic priests in the area, have come forward to protest so the creation of a waste mountain within their vicinity. What is alarming however, is the attempt to use national security laws against those trying to protest against the waste dump in the area. The use of national security laws means suspension of ordinary laws that prevail in the country, particularly regarding arrest and detention. This means that persons protesting against their environment being polluted will be punished by arrest and long detention under special laws in order to quell the protests.

This demonstrates the abnormal mentality of Sri Lankan administrators, who easily decide that what cannot be done under normal laws should be done under special laws. Thus, environmental pollution, considered a crime against the community by civilised society, is seen in Sri Lanka as a normal matter. Furthermore, the extraordinary powers of national security laws are to be used to ensure that this routine matter is settled as per government wishes. It is clear that Sri Lanka’s very reasoning process is being perverted. Perverted laws are only inevitable then.

Why is reason being treated so lightly in this country now? Has the political system gone so wrong that it cannot do anything in a rational manner?

An enormous disaster looms ahead of Sri Lanka if this process of abandoning the law and reason continues, and if the butt of a gun is used for everything. Placing the power of the gun in place of reason can only bring about disaster, from which the people may not be able to walk out.

In these tragic times, some force must arise to defend the reason and wisdom of the people against the irresponsibility of administrators and politicians.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 2
    0

    Srilankan government should take this opportunity to implement a proper garbage disposal mechanism to international standard. all over the country Countries with big Diaspora communities can help Srlanka to implement a safe garbage disposal system in all provinces. Please ask for help.

    Please reassure the people that government take responsibility for this tragedy and taking unprecedented steps to prevent any similar disaster and uplift the entire nation.

    Yes, we can do it. Act now.

    • 0
      0

      You know what I have no doubt

      Even garbage collectors in Germany and developed world are well informed about recycling and the process of garbage than the average parlimentarians in Diyawannaya.

      This is a shameful situation.

      Wild TV channels such as Derana TV, Hiru TV should better bring programs on garbage segregation, recycling etc than their regular teledram culture. Sidhu is a good teledrama, but the message being telecasted to the world is ALSO not fine, since Samanera is left to be alone at the temple – how would those Samanera grow up their mentality, without having proper guidance. Not love, nurture or the like is blessed to that particular Sooratha samanera.

  • 3
    0

    INSTALL GARBAGE CRUSHER MACHINE CITY TO CITY ZONE BASIS WISE AND CALL IT AGRICULTURE NORISHMENT PROCESSING PLANT WHERE THE END PRODUCT COULD USED FOR FERTILIZER INSTANT DISTRIBUTION FOR FARMERS

  • 2
    0

    Install garbage crusher machine city to city zone basis wise and call it agriculture nourishment processing plant where the end product could used for fertilizer instant distribution for farmers

  • 2
    0

    A few Suggestions:-

    Education in Classrooms, on Environmentally Friendly separation and disposal of Household Waste.

    Take Home leaflets for the Children to make Parents aware of the need for Responsible Disposal of Household Waste.

    Educational, Prime Time Cartoon Based, TV Programs.

    Government to get Expert Opinion on Effect on the Environment before embarking on Grandiose, ‘Development’ Projects.

    Additions to this list Welcome!

  • 4
    1

    Sirisena and Wickramasinghe are quite busy trying to build the waning popularity of the two parties SLFP and the UNP, respectively. Ungrateful Sirisena after leaving the SLFP and beating the SLFP candidate Mahinda Rajapaksa at the last presidential elections with the help of the UNP and the other opposition parties, is now making a valiant effort to make the SLFP (the party he destroyed) the number 1 party in Sri Lanka. Sirisena was a bad choice for the common candidate. Sobhitha Thera knew this all along and had reservations about his candidacy. Even after the Meethotamulla catastrophe what he did was to go on pilgrimage to Nagadheepa, Mahiyangana and Kataragama to get blessings for himself. He did not have the courage to visit Meethotamulla. As the minister of Environmental affairs Sirisena should very well know that dumping rubbish at Muthurajawela will lead to another catastrophe. However, what can the people expect from two selfish, self conceited, incapable, insensitive leaders.

  • 2
    0

    The rulers are not interested in protecting the environment or national assets for future generations . They are only focusing on get rich quick schemes which will ensure their families live in the lap of luxury for many years to come .
    Protection , conservation , heritage , poverty , suffering ,compassion … are not words they are familiar with .

  • 1
    0

    Hamlet: A good proposal. To achieve the desired results, there is yet another very important step that must be take by the Government. That is if any type of education to succeed, the participants of that programme must, in the beginning, know “HOW’ and “WHY” that mission is undertaken. For instance, from the school to the household, the industrial to the catering and food production organization MUST KNOW, what,why and how the waste is handled up to the final disposal. Do the people of Sri Lanka know of such a PLANNED Disposal System or a Policy that is in operation, other than “WASTE DUMPING”? The other day, I was listening to a TV programme conducted by a TV channel, where one of the participants was a Professor of a reputed University from the up country. He said, in his household the waste was very religiously sorted out and left to be collected by the assigned collectors. But, beyond that he did not know what happens to that waste or even did not care to find out what was happening to the waste. I hope he knows by now that this waste disposal has become a huge problem in his own district viz Kandy. Isn’t that a good indication to show to what extent the PEOPLES PARTICIPATION in waste disposal has been neglected and ignored. Therefore, it is very essential FIRST to INSTALL the REGULATED DISPOSAL SYSTEMS and MECHANISMS and make it mandatory by education and penalization on the part of the creators of the waste, both the people and the Institutions to participate. That must be a NATIONAL INITIATIVE and a REGULATED INDUSTRIAL MECHANISM.

  • 2
    0

    And elsewhere in today’s news.. Ranil has taken flight to India to finalise details of Modis visit to SL next month. .don’t we have an effing embassy there to do that job???

    Ranil is just not bothered by the problems this country faces.. he is a total rotten idiot!

    • 0
      0

      Words, sure looks like it (your view on Ranil)!

      And to think there would be a major change from the last bunch of crooks who were screwing all of us, makes us all look pretty stupid, but then what option did we have??

      Our only hope would be that all the criminals would be put where they belong and the morons who are now screwing the country would be booted out.

      But then we are still without an option for a ‘moral leader’!!

  • 2
    0

    One newspaper article says that over 150 officials travelled tomany different countries looking for a proper way to ged rid of garbage. IT looks they left it unattended because they could not find a better strategy in any of those shopping malls.

    Some where else, I read, Ranil wickramsnghe, in Jan 2015, had said he would give a solution in months. So, I think, in his calender his maonths some where in 2019 or after that.

  • 2
    0

    If they use muthurajawela as a waste dump they will the results as muthurajawela is a natural ecosystem and it is below the sea level. Probably they won’t be able to control the flash floods in areas around muthurajawela.

    They are doing a unbelievable damage to a natural ecosystem. I don’t know why scientists and conservationaists are silent.

    • 1
      0

      “I don’t know why scientists and conservationaists are silent.”

      Jim Softy, I know Why.

      It is because the All Powerful Politicians do not Listen!!

  • 2
    0

    The Lankan garbage disposal has always been tailored to preserve the life style of the privileged.

    Meemotamulla incident is just a crack. Shifting the dump venue to Muthurajawela is postponing an event waiting to happen.

    Waste disposal management must take the wellbeing of all Lankans into account – long long before there is a worse tragedy.

  • 2
    0

    The Meethotamula garbage has too much urban toxic material, cadmium, nickel, copper from batteries, engine oil, transformer oil, arsenic and gallium form electronic parts in it. They also have a lot of viruses.
    These toxic materials are so intimately mixed up that most separation processes will still leave enough toxins behind. Now, if this is distributed to farmers as fertilizers, the toxins will go into the food as plants, vegetables, grasses etc are well-known to absorb and accumulate metal toxins in them. You cannot even grow grass for cattle. In the NCP they say that even parts per billion of toxins are affecting people and giving them kidney disease. People were protesting that the country has been importing contaminated fertilizer, and Sirisena, Champika, and Ven. Ratana, and SEMA tried to fool the country claiming to create a “toxin-free nation” while allowing garbage to pile up and poison the water table, and the air in a large area of Colombo itself. So you can imagine how bad it is going to be in other places.

    DON’T FOR HUMANITY’S SAKE MAHE FERTILIZER AND DISTRIBUTE IT TO FARMERS. MIX IT WITH PUNNAKKU AND USE IT AT THE PARLIAMENT CAFETARIA AND GIVE IT TO THE MPS

    • 0
      0

      I believe, garabage segreagation should be made compulsary to each and every house holds. Not just garbage givers but also collectors should be made aware of the segregation and its importance.
      It is reported, that over 600 Engineers have been employed by Western Province for only in Garbage related authorities. wHAT ALL THESE PROFESSIONAL HAVE BEEN DOING WITHIN THEIR DUTIES – is the million dollar question.
      I think lankens in general work without systems- if proper laws and orders would have been introduced, the incharge officers would have to do the job properly.

      In Germany, if platic would not have been collected and packed in YELLOW BAGs, theythe collectors would not pick them up. If anyone would have packed wrong items in unsuitable packings, they the collectors just reject them. In that way, the people are compelled to respect the guidelines.

      Cardboads and the related papers are collected separately, So, why cant our people in urban areas be trained for a system ? It is not just municipal authorities but also entire team should be held resonsible if they would not follow the responsible guidlines.
      And also it is advisable to introduce a tax for garbage related stuff..
      If the country and state would repeatedly call them as “midlower income earning nation”; why cant they take steps accordingly.
      Diplomatic relationships built between countries can be used for getting technical assistance if the state or pvt companies would really want to do the job properly.

    • 1
      0

      Edward, Basil Fernando has been producing fertiliser for many years.

  • 1
    0

    EDWARD:-
    “The Meethotamula garbage has too much urban toxic material, cadmium, nickel, copper from batteries, engine oil, transformer oil, arsenic and gallium form electronic parts in it.”

    Sorting of Garbage at the Source, and Recycling, is the only answer!

    Educate the Public, on the ‘Discipline’ of Recycling! Bring back the “Bothal, Paperr, Powderr Tin Karaya”, who can make some money out of it!

    There is no Other Way! However many Experts are Consulted, After the Event!

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 7 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.