Election official urges action against suspension of sand transportation permit system

Election official urges action against suspension of sand transportation permit system

Election official urges action against suspension of sand transportation permit system

Written by Staff Writer

01 Jul, 2020 | 10:23 pm

COLOMBO (News1st): A senior election commission official has urged action over the suspension of the sand transportation permit system, after the parliamentary election had been announced.

S. Sudhakaran, the deputy commissioner of elections in the Eastern Province, had informed the national election commission that the suspension violates election laws.

He said that the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau had suspended the sand transport permit system upon the instructions issued by the subject minister through a telephone call.

An individual who had complained to the deputy commissioner over this, had accused the minister of suspending the permit system to favour his close allies who are involved in transporting sand.

On previous occassions, News 1st had pointed out that mining had been carried out endlessly on the banks of rivers, after the government temporarily suspended the inspection of permits.

“The sand industry was regulated through the transport permit system. Since this was suspended, individuals who do not have permits are destroying the Mahaweli river,” a businessman said.

Meanwhile, the Centre for Environment and Nature Studies pointed out attempts to sell off state lands to businessman and foreign nations, by abolishing a state circular.

Ravindra Kariyawasam, the national organizer for the movement said, the circular protects forest lands that fall under the purview of district and divisional secretaries.

“These forest lands had been secured through this circular. However, this government is trying to abolish it,” he told reporters.

Kariyawasam suspected that the circular is to be scrapped to support the government’s attempts to sign the Millenium Challenge Corporation (MCC) agreement that involves land administration projects, and to obtain the required lands for the implementation of the national physical plan.

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