Written by Tharushan Fernando
17 Jul, 2015 | 8:06 pm
The Supreme Court on July 16 decided to examine the fundamental rights petition filed against the Uma Oya multi-purpose project on Aug. 12.
The case was taken up for examination by a thee-member bench comprising of justices Chandra Ekanayake, Priyasad Depp and Eva Wanasundara.
The fundamental rights petition was filed by the Centre for Environmental Justice, and four individuals, including M.D.P. Manatunga, who are residents of the Bandarawela area who have been victimised as a result of the Uma Oya multi purpose project. The petitioners claim that as a result of the Uma Oya project, not only have their homes and crops been destroyed, but they have lost access to clean drinking water, citing this as a violation of their fundamental rights.
Secretary to the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment, N. Rupasinghe, Secretary to the Ministry of Irrigation and Agriculture, the Central Environment Authority and the Attorney General have been named as respondents in the petition.
Attorney-At-Law Ravindranath Dabare noted that this fundamental rights petition was filed since this Uma Oya project, which was started without a proper environmental assessment, is violating the Fundamental Rights of the people of the area, and is affecting their daily routines, their livelihoods, and their access to clean drinking water. He said they want justice meted out to those who have been affected.
The case was postponed since the Attorney General needed more time to prove the facts and to receive advice and facts from the respondents.
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