5 March, 2024


WikiLeaks: In 2008, Rajapaksa Introduced A New Levy To Counter Damage Caused To The Environment

“The budget introduced a new ‘Environment Conservation Levy’ to counter damage caused to the environment through water and air pollution and soil erosion. The government estimates the cost of these forms of environmental damage to be over 2 percent of GDP. The government intends to devote more funds to environmental protection by taxing individuals, businesses, and items considered to be harmful to the environment. It will collect Rs 20 per month from every household that owns a vehicle, a telephone and an electricity connection. (Comment: While the environment conservation goal is laudable, this is likely to be another of the many supposedly purpose-designated taxes that in practice mostly ends up going towards general revenue.)” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington.

A victimised protester against the ground water contamination scandal in the Gampaha

The Colombo Telegraph found the related leaked cable from the WikiLeaks database. The ‘Unclassified’ cable discusses the Rajapaksa’s 2008 budget . The cable was written on December 13, 2007  by the US Ambassador to Colombo Robert O. Blake.

The ambassador wrote; “Another notable feature of the 2008 budget is its heavy total allocations to ministries controlled by President Rajapaksa or his brothers. Between them, the four brothers effectively control 53 percent of the 2008 government budget. (Note: Some sources, such as a recent “Economist” article about the Rajapaksa family, cite a figure of 70 percent for their control of the budget, but this appears exaggerated.) The President directly controls 51 percent of the budget: Ministry of Finance and Planning (29 percent), Ministry of Defense (16 percent, run by brother Gothabaya as Secretary), Ministry of Nation Building (5 percent for politically important poverty alleviation and village development programs, run by brother Basil as Advisor) and Office of the President (0.6 percent). The President’s elder brother, Chamal, heads the Ministry of Ports and Aviation (2 percent) and the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Management (0.06 percent). One commentator on the budget noted that these ministries were the only ones whose budget allocations increased by more than the rate of inflation.”

Related posts;

Fight For Clean Water Turns Deadly: Army Fires On Weliweriya Demonstrators

To read more on Weliweriya protest click here

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Latest comments

  • 0

    These protestors clashed with the wrong people.

    Why these areas don’t have good drinking water? Because all good drinking water is wasted in Colombo City which is now occupied by aliens!!

    This is the real reason. Fix this problem first.

    They robbed your good water. Go after them!

  • 0

    GOvernment should spend the money to build pipe born water system to rest of the country which only Colombo people enjoy.

    Farmers are dying with kidney diseases due contaminated water from Agro chemicals. And this event people have high acidic water in wells due to industrialisation.

    Spend the money where it is due, not white elephant projects like Mihin air ports and airports.

    Come up with 5 year master plan to build pipe water system to the whole country. There are sufficient number of rivers and water fountains in country, It is sheer incompetence of government if they cannot implement a project for this.

  • 0

    These people clashed with the wrong people.

    Dhammika Perera the owner of Hayleys Group is one of the darlings of the regime. To attack him is to attack the Rajapakses. He controls the familiy portfolio.

    Better emigrate to Colombo or Jaffna where the minorities will take good care of you.

  • 0

    Water is stolen from Sinhala areas like Weliweriya, Kelaniya, Labugama, Ambathalay and pumped to Tamil areas in Colombo city.

    This is the root cause of the problem.

    Stop this ROBBERY before people pollute the water for all.

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