Written by Staff Writer
17 Dec, 2017 | 10:18 pm
The wewa represents the magnum opus of the advanced irrigation technology of ancient Sri Lanka. This fusion of tradition and innovation led to our ancestors securing the moniker “granary of the east” for our island nation, and it is this spark that the Capital Maharaja Organisation Ltd sought to reignite today, with the launch of the Gammadda “Gamin Gamata – Wewen Wewata” programme.
The foundation for the Gammadda “Gamin Gamata – Wewen Wewata” programme was laid following a broad study carried out by the Agriculture Faculty of the Peradeniya University, and experts in the field of irrigation technology.
This national initiative got underway today, December 17, on the shores of the Bellankadawala Wewa in Palugaswewa, Anuradhapura.
According to Ven. Ranmuthugala Gnanarathana Thera, who was present at the occasion, “Our forefathers lived in this country with a good understanding of the earth, the seasons, the flora and the fauna. If the people in the villages receive enough water to irrigate their fields, then those in cinnamon gardens would be defeated. These people would reign and live as kings, if only they had the water they need to irrigate their fields.”
Prof. Gamini Pushpakumara, Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture Studies, University of Peradeniya stated that he believes that this venture will create a great change in the area and areas where the Ellanga or collection of the wewa systems exist.
Speaking further, he explained the reason for him to make this statement – the land mass that comprise Ellanga wewa systems amount to 20% of the land mass of Sri Lanka. Further, if they can bring this 20% to a certain standard, it will greatly benefit, agriculture, the living standards of rural communities and administrative officials.
Chevaan Daniel, Group Director of The Capital Maharaja Organisation Ltd stated that our Chairman, Mr. R. Rajamahendran spoke to us on the water crisis that has engulfed the country. Water has become akin to an enemy. Either there is a drought or there are floods. In the absence of both of these, the water is plagued with the blight of kidney disease.Further, he noted that there must be a reason for this and asked us to investigate.
“We use various words to describe our wewas. But we are fearful at present to use the word wewa. A wewa is not simply a reservoir, it is a complete and diverse Eco-system. Take a minute to reminisce on this – from this month on wards, we will be exporting 100,000 tonnes of rice to Sri Lanka. We are a nation who used to export rice because of the surpluses we had.” said Group Director Chevaan Daniel.
Furthermore, he stated that, “Technology is essential, but we must fuse new technology with the vital knowledge that has been passed down by our forefathers, who sculpted their environment for their purposes, yet were in perfect harmony with mother nature.”
Chevaan Daniel ended his speech by stating that this is the objective of the Gammadda Wewen-wewata programme. We also wish to ascribe a new word in the English dictionary to describe our wewa. We call on the government too, which is more than happy to appoint ministers for an assortment of menial tasks, to appoint a dedicated minister in charge of the wewas of the country.
News 1st Channel Head Suranga Senanayake, Director/General Manager Yasarath Kamalsiri and Project Leader Amarasri Bandara also spoke at this event.
A sapling was planted to commemorate the event.
Environmentalist Pravin Abeyratne was also present at the occasion.
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