(Lanka-e-News- 29.June.2017, 11.50PM) Most unfortunately it is the present government which has to pay for all the past sins , crimes , and perfidies committed by the corrupt murderous deposed Rajapakse regime which indulged in all the sinister and traitorous activities with gay abandon during its reign while not caring for the country and the people , as long as those activities served their corrupt and crooked aims and agendas.
Hambantota port , Mattala Airport , the white elephants and SAITM a festering sore are legacies of the deposed discarded Rajapakse regime , and the present government is only an unfortunate inheritor of those , and not the creator .
Yet when the present government is taking meaningful and tangible measures to resolve those issues , the evil villainous Rajapakses are mounting opposition and seeking to force the government to withdraw those salutary efforts. While SAITM is one example , yesterday (28), another protest was staged in Bandarawela. That was the protest staged in Bandarawela Town by the JVP with the Rajapakses taking advantage of the various hardships faced by the victims of the Uma oya scheme disaster that was initiated for diversion of water to Hambantota- the Rajapakses’ fiefdom . It is significant to note the disastrous Uma Oya scheme was inaugurated by the Rajapakses themselves without obtaining an appropriate environmental report .
Yesterday’s protest was organized against ‘Uma Oya multiple disaster scheme’ . This protest was held with the participation of Bandarawela traders association , wholesale trade association and private bus owners association . The groups that fell victims due to the scheme from Bandarawela, Welimada, Ella, HaliEla, and Wellawaya district secretarial divisions also attended this protest. In addition, shops and schools were closed and black flags were hoisted. The protestors also held a rally in Hambantota town (photos depict the demonstrations) .
These protests were aimed at mounting opposition against the government and popular UNP leader Harin Fernando , but the irony of it is , this destructive and disastrous Uma oya scheme was launched by the Rajapakses and none other ,who did not obtain the environmental report duly at that time. During that period it was Harin Fernando who led the protests against the odious Uma oya scheme of the Rajapakses when UNP was in the opposition. Many of the rascals who are today masquerading as heroes were never there to oppose the Rajapakses who originated that disastrous scheme at that time.
In fact when the foundation stone was laid in 2008 for this Uma oya scheme , among those who participated were Nimal Siripala De Silva , Chamal Rajapakse and DilanPerera , but now they have vanished from the scene and are pretending they are innocent.
It was none other than Champika Ranawake the then environment minister who prepared an absolutely bogus environment report amidst pressures brought to bear on him by the Rajapakses. The other culprit who was associated with this spurious environment report was Charitha Herath who pompously and boastfully calls himself as a scientist (so called) , who was the then environment ministry secretary.
What the selfish self seeking Rajapakses who knew next to nothing about environmental science wanted to achieve by this scheme was , somehow divert the water to Hambantota even if that scheme was environmentally detrimental and dangerous to the residents , and thereby show off to the country they are great heroes to hide all their villainy .Towards this scheme , funds as large as US dollars 578 million were raised from Iran the country that was boycotted by the whole world. This expenditure in respect of this useless purposeless scheme exceeded that spent for the construction of the Hambantota Port. It is to be noted this Uma Oya scheme was launched depending on Iran’s outdated technologies.
The plan to divert the water of Uma Oya to Lunugamwhera reservoir was first conceived in 1991, and that proposal was formulated by the Central engineering advisory bureau . When the report of the proposal was presented to the Asian development bank to obtain financial grants , the scheme was rejected on the grounds that the rights of the people to free water are being violated when water is being diverted from one water basin to another.
Yet the murderous Medamulana morons who had not even heard of such ethical customs and practices , commenced the project out of funds from the Iranian development bank .The contribution by Sri Lanka was US dollars 400 million . The Rajapakses during their tenure of office itself released that sum . Out of the funds collected from Iran , and after the illicit commissions were pocketed , about half the project was completed by the time the government of good governance captured power.
What is hard to believe and baffling is , is the transport of water arrangement via a 15 kilometer long tunnel . 10.2 kilometers of it was completed, but unfortunately for the good governance government which took over in 2015, when digging the tunnel with the use of the outdated equipment of Iran , the water bed boundary layer got split due to the vibrations owing to which there followed a ground water leakage . The leakage was so enormous , 978 gallons of water leaked per second , that is 58000 gallons of water for a minute . At the same time , the water meant for consumption of residents in the vicinity of Bandarawela began to disappear from the ground, and wells dried up , consequent upon which the water necessary for cultivation became scarce. In the end , Rajapakses by trying to enrich Hambantota with nefarious aims and agendas impoverished Bandarawela , and plunged its residents into dire problems and predicament, including potential deaths.
The use of outdated equipment of Iran which caused huge vibrations and quakes , while the earth below cracked and disintegrated on a massive scale . Not only the quakes even the water leakage mentioned earlier , led to the soil above to crumble . The houses that were on top of the soil also began to show cracks , and collapsed.
Prior to this Rajapakse debacle , under the upper Kotmale irrigation scheme too the tunnels were built but those were under the Tea estates . The brutal Rajapakses on the contrary who never ever cared for the lives of the masses and least respected the value of human life all along , decided to dig the tunnel under the most populous districts .That was why damage to houses was monumental when the buildings cracked and collapsed . Already 3800 houses have suffered damage.
Soon after the good governance government was installed in power , with the intervention of Harin Fernando , the Uma Oya project was halted , but by that time 50 % of the project was complete . Halting a project which has been 50 % completed is not in the best interests of the nation. Now , about 70 % of this project is complete.
When the good governance government did a survey , it was found the number of people affected by the disaster is about 10,000. The government has taken steps to provide relief to these people. It has also set aside Rs. 500 million to pay compensation for the houses that were damaged.
Over 70 % of those occupying the government official houses in Bandarawela are occupants who were displaced and were given free houses. To another group of residents rents were paid by the government to find temporary shelters elsewhere. But, those officers who went to make an evaluation of the damage could not finish their assignment because the number of damaged houses is rising daily . With the number of damaged houses on the rise daily , the funds allocated are also fast becoming inadequate.
The present government however has initiated another project to provide drinking water to the 2800 families who have fallen victims . Towards that a sum of Rs . 378 million has been allocated and every two days a Bowser is supplying drinking water . Since the number of families that are without drinking water is on the increase , the water supplied to the people is fast becoming insufficient.
The government has also taken steps to grant compensation to the cultivators who are adversely affected due to scarcity of water . But the fact of the matter is many of them have done their cultivation on lands illegally, with the result the evaluation officers are in a quandary. Much worse , the people who lived without any problems hitherto , are now in distress and in dire plight - even to keep their life intact is a struggle for them . Owing to this dire situation , thousands of people arrived in Bandarawela yesterday to join in the protest casting aside their party differences.
At the cabinet meeting held day before yesterday (27) this was the hot topic of discussion. The president told Harin Fernando the M.P. of the province , ‘ ask whatever you need , I shall grant them .‘ Now the Uma Oya scheme cannot be stopped. Neither can it be carried on.
In any event a cabinet sub committee was appointed to resolve the issue. By a cruel twist of fate , Champika Ranawake who gave a deceptive environmental report to Rajapakses then under pressures exerted by the Rajapakses has also been included in this sub committee.The other members of the committee are Vijith Vijithamuni Soysa and Mahinda Amaraweera.
An engineer answering queries raised by Lanka e news in this connection revealed, after the ground water leak at the bed ceases and the sub way gets filled with water , the situation will return to normal as before, in about two years. No matter what, the government of good governance should do everything possible to provide relief to the suffering victims from their present distress and despair. The masses must be extricated from the spell of the Rajapakses’ ‘curse of the shawl’ cast on them !
by (2017-06-29 18:44:00)
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