25 May, 2024


The Green Mafia

By Ranil Senanayake

Dr Ranil Senanayake

In a tragic display of greed and ignorance, the handmaidens of fossil led economic development have begun to perform their dances before the new Government. In a backdrop of a nation like Australia literally burning, as a result their contribution to the fossil carbon load in the Global Commons, we seek to contribute our share. The massive fossil carbon load in cement use, generating sixteen times more than fossil fuel, goes unreported in the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC); we have ‘Coal Mafia’ of the CEB, screaming about a ‘Green Mafia’ in order to grab the attention of the President. Sri Lanka is the worst polluter of the Indian Ocean, because we allow ocean freighters passing through our territorial waters to freely dump and use bunker fuel. Our Tea industry is becoming tainted as a consequence of free acceptance of toxins in agronomic practices.

We have a political and intellectual class who where supposed to understand international processes and help guide this nation safely. Forty one years ago in 1979 when the myth of ‘Development’ was being foisted on us the following was noted in the Sunday Observer:

“In fact many of the present ‘development problems’ are created purely through definition. A fine example of this is the need to ‘develop’ our mineral resources. It is stated that we must exploit our mineral resources so we can begin marketing them (to obtain funds for ‘development’. These resources are, like oil, limited. They are also essential to modern society. To us in Sri Lanka we have no immediate need for these minerals. We market them to obtain the funds to be “developed” enough to have a need for those minerals, but by that time we would have sold most of our easily accessible supplies to others. So that we will have to spend more to extract the more difficult (thus more expensive) ores or even begin to import them?

It may be time for us to act responsibly being aware that the motions of the wheels of development are of not use if it grinds the populace in its progress. Development should mean independence and real well-being, rather than dependence and an illusion of well being.

Is development to be spell out as dependency on oil? If this is the criterion that governs development and our hopes and sense of well-being is tied to the oil purveyors, how safe are we as an independent nation? There is a correspondence cycle to the dependency cycle, that is, to buy oil we have to earn foreign exchange, to earn foreign exchange we have to export. So increasing oil bills will mean an increasing volume of exports to maintain the trade balance. What do we have to export readily? Our national wealth, mineral and agricultural. Will this dependency mean poorer fare, poorer public health and increasing food bills for the citizen?

In this context development means dependency on oil. ‘Development’ would seem to be a product of a pecuniary philosophy where instead of solving problems and meeting needs as expressed by a largest segment of the population, an attempt is made to create through definition, a problem of ‘need’. Next, efforts are made to ‘educate’ people so that they will accept this definition, and; finally a solution to the problem is marketed.”

But the political and intellectual leadership of the day saw no value in considering such views. It must be noted that many of the senior decision makers of today were the policy makers of that time and must accept responsibility for their actions. As the process began, the trend became obvious and much concern was generated. Thus in July the Daily News was published a BALANCED SOCIAL ORDER where it was pointed out that:

“An increase in the foreign debt will require larger and larger acreages of cash crops to be grown, so that we can make the money needed to service the debt and so on…

It may not be long before the multinational begin suggesting that the newly-cleared lands of the Mahaveli are excellent for export-oriented crops. If this happens, the circle will be complete. They loan us money to develop our land so that we may grow crops for their profit.

Develop as a nation we must, but cautiously – with the full awareness of the long-term consequences of such processes. To sell the fundamental rights of the people and the future generations for some immediate gain cannot be counted as development. Clean air, clean water and freedom from man-created toxins, are some of these fundamental rights. Any process that claims to be part of a development process must address these among other fundamental rights.“

Can we learn from history ? How will ‘Development’ be interpreted by the oncoming governments ? Will it mean the sacrifice of the fundamental rights of humanity ? The right to breathe clean air, the right to drink clean water and the right to eat clean food ? Will it be measured only by economic abstractions like the GDP or will it also use metrics like the PQLI ( Personal Quality of Life Index) ? The future before us is frightful, climate change is real. Is it not time to consider giving value to humanity ?

Could we not strop for a minute and try to see what kind of future we will have to face if our development is based on fossil use ? Also, Is not a ‘Green Mafia’ based on life better than a “Coal Mafia’ based on death ?

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Latest comments

  • 0

    I thought this Dude was on about the Shit Fight between the Elite and the Dalits in the UNP,
    Because of Dr Ranil and his Mafia’s incessant strangling of the Premadasa Kid from Keselwatta, so the Green Party stays under Dr Rani and the Elite to serve the Muslims..-

    Tata Boss from Hindia bought Carmicheal Mines in Australia for USD 6 Billion Dollars to pump Coal to Hindian Power Plants for the next 30 years.-

    TaTa Boss is pumping another USD 6 Billion plus to organize the Infrastructure to transport it to keep the Hindians burning Coal , which is essential to keep the Lights on and the A/Cs running for the rapidly growing Middle Class Hindians.–

    So I don’t see any major issues of our Lanakans Polluting the Indian Continent by the piddly amount of the Coal which we use to provide jobs to the inhabitants, and save the valuable FX to pay for the Food Imports,

    But I am against the Politikkas using those savings to help their mates import Mercs and Beamers. and pocket the returns from selling their Car Permits..
    Just like the previous Dr Rani government did for the first 12 months..

    • 0

      Fully agree…only the Indians will suffocate noh…?…we live in a pollution proof bubble noh…?…you seem to be quite an idiot noh…?

  • 0

    RS writes ‘What do we have to export readily?’

    Housemaids and Houseboys have produced excellent reliable steady foreign exchange over so many years. Under-valued and under-appreciated. If the economy of Sri Lanka cannot generate jobs to support all our talented people then we should put in more investment to training and preparing more people for export.

  • 0

    Mr Senanayake

    Your warnings & expert opinions on environmental matters of SL, though appreciated by a few, is most likely to fall on deaf ears because the average politicians in SL do not have the education nor the mental capacity to understand our own degradation of the environment, least of all, global catastrophes. When there are selfish yobs from the US to Australia, as well as, India, China & third world South American counties, blatantly refusing to accept climate change, our yobs in Parliament are not alone.

    GR has promised prominence to the educated in his govt. Lets hope such a suitable person is appointed as the Environmental Minister with powers to take action, even against the Govt. & it’s cronies, when it comes to environmental destruction.

  • 0

    Why are there no forest fires in China, Africa, and most parts of Asia?
    Because we don’t have environmentalists like in California or Canada or Australia
    who prevent the clean up of forests, and “want to keep them close to nature”.

    The greens and the conservationists are the ones who have set the conditions for these forest fires by “conserving forests”. Forests too have to be cleaned of dead wood and managed, else they become tinder boxes. These Greens or conservationists prevent anyone from getting at forests as they want to keep them fully natural.
    In the end they go up in flames.
    In countries like India and China where the countries have not been “advanced” enogh to be “environmenatlly sensitive”, there are no forest fires. ZIT is only in California, Canada etc., where there are big fires. There are exactly the countries where NGOs and Green Lobby groups prevent the proper control of forests and “leave the forests in their natural way”. Nature is NOT the best way. Just as there are fire codes for building houses, there should be fire codes for how forests should be managed keeping them properly pruned and controlled,.

    The way of the GREENS is NOT the way. Everything is impermanent, and the greens with their conservation “Manthra” are fools.

    Ranil Senanayake is a member of the california “environmental mafia” and their actions world wide in countries where they have influence have caused bush fires. In countires where there are no forests, or forests which are managed for the benefit of the people, there are no forest fires.

  • 0

    Sorry machang, I live in Beregala and have a farm in Bandarawela. So I guess I am a member of the Beregala Environmental Mafia. You should also read the newspapers some time.The Major fires are in Brazil, Colombia, The Congo , . You better read up or fix your compass Edgar and do sone reading on the current world situation vis-a-vis fire !

  • 0


    Big words. Maybe read up on some ecology so you understand how dependent us humans are on healthy ecosystems for building material, clean water,/air, production of soil, carbon sequestration, biotechnology, spiritual/cultural/recreational benefits (This is human egocentric points). Industrialization have made people distant from nature so they do not understand its value and significance anymore, and will therefore not protect it. Many long lived cultures have developed a balance in the usage of “resources” to maintain a healthy local ecosystem, or else they will die out. Our industrial way of living have not obtained this balance. We are in an experiment. Forward, we should maybe take with us some of the knowledge and activities acquired by previous generations and the relevant from our era.

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