‘Aloe Vera Project’ – Another scheme to funnel black money?; Concerns from activists

‘Aloe Vera Project’ – Another scheme to funnel black money?; Concerns from activists

Written by Amani Nilar

02 Sep, 2021 | 10:12 am

COLOMBO (News 1st): Environmental groups are urging the Government to withdraw the cabinet paper on the implementation of an aloe vera cultivation project on more than 100,000 acres of land in the Anuradhapura District.

Environmentalists point out that land acquisition for the project causes enormous environmental damage.

Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Finance and SM Chandrasena, Minister of Lands had proposed the aloe vera cultivation project as a joint Cabinet paper.

Cabinet decisions state that this is an investment worth US $ 783 million.

Meanwhile, Environmentalist Sajeeva Chamikara questioned the purpose behind this investment.

“A person named Chandika Viranjith is the Managing Director of Aura Lanka Pvt. Ltd., which handles the project. How does that person invest $ 783 million? We can clearly see that there is a politician or other person behind this investment. We can also see that even these ministers have intervened to justify this process, which uses black money.” He said.

”  The Department of Wildlife Conservation has filed a case and reported facts against this person to the court in a B report. The report alleges that he has caused deforestation of the area near the Kala Oya at the border of the Wilpattu National Park and the construction of canals to obtain water for this project,” he mentioned.

Environmentalists are questioning the legality of these projects as well.

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