Colombo Telegraph

Water Pollution At Chunnakam & Surrounding Areas

By Murali Vallipuranathan

Dr. Murali Vallipuranathan

Hon. Mr. P.Ayngaranesan
Minister of Agriculture
Northern Province

2nd April 2015

Dear Mr. Ayngaranesan,

Since you have stated in your mail (pasted below) that “Dr. Murali Vallipuranathan is free to contact us direct, rather than through others, and we will certainly provide him the information he needs. “ I am writing to you as follows:

1. I have already sent an open letter on 20th February 2015 to Hon. Chief Minister of the Northern Province on the Chunnakam water pollution issue which was widely reported in the media. In response to my letter the Private Secretary of the Chief Minister Mr. A. Suntharalingam informed me that the Chief Minister wanted to meet me on 13th March 2015 and the exact time for the meeting would be conveyed to me after consulting you because the Chief Minister wanted your presence at this meeting. However, to date Mr. Suntharalingam neither called me confirming a meeting with the Chief Minister nor informed me that this matter is referred to you. If you are not fully aware of the contents of my letter to Chief Minister please see a copy of my letter is attached herewith. I still look forward to have a meeting with you and the Chief Minister on this issue.

2. It is incorrect to imply that I have tried to contact you through third parties abroad. All I wrote to Dr. K.Rajaram was about the field equipment FROG 4000 funded by him and other diaspora members believing that it would help the affected people in Chunnakam to get relief and certainly not to clear the Northern Power Company from the charges it faces for polluting the environment disregarding the law. I wanted this equipment to be tested in some of the visibly polluted wells in the region with utmost transparency and that to be video recorded so that those who are not present also will come to know the truth.

3. I do respect the learned members of your expert committee as experts though not all are in the relevant fields to deal with this pollution issue. However, I disagree with the composition of the expert committee and the findings of the expert committee for the following reasons. Firstly a member of your expert committee is having a serious conflict of interest because he was serving as a consultant to the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB). CEB is the main respondent in this pollution issue because of their role in hiring the Northern Power Company (Private) Limited for the production of electricity and whether they had monitored the said private company following the standards and regulations with regard to the environmental safety is in question. Secondly the heavy metal analysis of your expert committee was based on the reports obtained from the Industrial Technological Institute (ITI). This institute has a serious conflict of interest because it is based on their reports the Northern Power Company (Private) Limited continue to renew their license to operate. I believe no sensible person will trust the final report of your expert committee if these conflicts of interest are divulged.

4. I hope you are fully aware of the situation that the Northern Power Company (Private) Limited had already hailed the interim report of your expert committee as it would help them to lift the ban imposed on the power generation. I am afraid in the event that justice is not meted to the affected people by your expert committee and the provincial government they would seek justice at a higher court and probably you and your provincial government will be made as co-respondents because of the misleading report of your expert committee.

5. Though your team was collecting samples in front of the Health Ministry Officials they have not seen how the testing was done and even not sure whether the same samples were used to produce the results. That is why I had asked Dr.K. Rajaram to provide an opportunity with transparency to do the sampling and testing in front of us with video recording so that everybody can know the truth.

6. I had arranged through the Health Ministry to examine samples from the wells in a wide geographical location from 4 Medical Officers of Health areas (Uduvil, Kopay, Tellipalai and Sandilipai) and sent samples from 25 wells to the Government Analyst Department. All the 25 samples tested in their high quality laboratory had shown evidence of high levels of oil and grease. Under these circumstances what is the need for your expert committee to confuse the people with the results from a field equipment and state that no toxic compounds were found in these wells. Are you suggesting to the people to drink from the wells that are visibly polluted with petroleum products? I have attached photographs taken by me from 3 visibly polluted wells for you to have a look if you have not seen a visibly polluted well and smelled the bad odour emanating from them yet.

Awaiting your early response.

Thank you

Dr.Murali Vallipuranathan
MBBS, PGD (Population Studies), MSc, MD (Community Medicine), FCCP
Board Certified Specialist in Community Medicine


From: Ponnudurai Ayngaranesan <>
Date: Wed, Apr 1, 2015 at 10:27 PM
To: Jey Surier <>, KP Sivakumaran <>, veerasingam puvi <>,, Thahaval Nilaiyam <>
Cc:, “” <>,,,,,,, NPIrrigation Irrigation <>
Dear all,
In recent times I have been following the email dialogue among our friends.

Though I wished to respond immediately, time was always a constraint.

Dr. Puvi along with his son visited us and learned the actual ground situation. Dr. Sivakumar from Australia and Mr. Sutharshan from Singapore too did so.We will always be grateful to them

Unfortunately some from abroad do not have a clear picture of the reality. They just transmit the information they get from here.

Dr. Murali Vallipuranathan is free to contact us direct, rather than through others, and we will certainly provide him the information he needs.

Those who do not wish to accept our research findings have so far not honestly contacted us.

We on many occasions have invited those in doubt to discuss issues with the Expert Committee. If they wished to know the truth they would have certainly responded.

We cannot awake those who pretend to be sleeping.

To me, it does not appear right that they contact us through a third party from abroad. This, in a way, I believe is disrespecting our Expert Committee.

They are telling a blatant lie that we do the sampling in secrecy. We inform the Medical Officer of Health, Uduvil prior to the sampling and he sends representatives from the Health Department to join our team.

Hence, in this context, should anyone contact you, please advise them to contact us direct.

It will be appropriate that the Expert committee appointed by the provincial council release the final report. The local courts will accept the report of the Expert committee working at ground level.Therefore we would be glad you if you send your report to our expert committee . They will include your report quoting you as reference.
Thanking you


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