Editorial

The President’s fading ‘greenness’

Summary

There’s nothing ‘green’ about facilitating further felling of trees.

Plant few, cut many?

Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s presidential campaign was marked by two things: he did not once utter anything negative about his opponents and he supervised a carbon-neutral campaign. These were good signs for a) an improved political culture and b) a green presidency.

The President has since declared that all development projects must adhere to environment preservation guidelines and no harm should fall upon the environment. The Minister of Agriculture Mahindananda Aluthgamage has said that the Government plans to increase organic fertilizer use from 1% to 30% (ambitious, but a step in the right direction). The President meanwhile wants renewables to meet 70% of the country’s energy demand by 2030. The Government even announced a plan to stop oil palm cultivation.

Good. 

How then does one make sense of the ‘Green Presidency’ relaxing illegal sand mining regulations? Sure, restrictions were reimposed not too long afterwards, but then was it a kind of happy-period for the sand mining mafia?

How then does one make sense of the gazette notification regarding deeds for those who have squatted on or ‘developed’ state land? The move has led to widespread encroachment, obviously by those with political clout or has the backing of relevant local political bosses?

The ‘lease of life’ is only until the end of this month. What’s this if not another happy-time for thugs, racketeers and party loyalists?

Let us not forget that it’s not barren lands that are being offered here. ‘State land’ can be and  is being interpreted liberally. There’s nothing ‘green’ about facilitating further felling of trees. 

Sure, there is a problem of landlessness. There is a problem of granting deeds to those who have actually lived on and developed state lands for decades. Now what is the guarantee that only such individuals are going to benefit? Who certifies ‘length of occupation’? Incorruptible local officials?

Give us a break, Mr President!

2 thoughts on “The President’s fading ‘greenness’
  1. Yako, wedak athi deyak karapan.
    Umba Janadipathi wenna hadana eka wage wihiluwak kohewath dekala ne.

    Comlombo Municipality ekata garbage collectorsla hoyanawalu.
    Join weyan.

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