Thursday, 8 August 2002  
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Metal quarries grave threat to the environment - PS

by Kuliyapitiya group correspondent

The Buddha Statue, several walls of the Shrine Room and the Dagaba of Meddepola Rajamaha Vihara were cracked as a result of the granite explosions in Malgamuwa metal quarry. The Central Government is the authority for issuing explosive permits for metal quarries, so we have no control over them. Yet the Sabha is to be answerable for all the wrongs the Central Government and the Provincial Council commit Pannala PS Chairman J. A. Navaratna (UNP) said at the monthly meeting of the Sabha.

Jayantha Kanakaratna (UNP) said, immediate steps should be taken against the metal quarries at Malgamuwa and Lahugala. Otherwise protest campaigns and even violence may follow.

The Chairman said, this a very grave issue. The places of historical importance are damaged. The unauthorised granite explosions were done in the past and continue today. The shocks caused by the granite explosions are a grave threat to the environment. All those are beyond our control. We can only direct this issue to the higher authorities.

The Chairman congratulated the JVP member who came to the meeting for the first time.

Gunadasa Kannangara (JVP) said, I was a member in the previous Sabha too. During that period I extended my fullest co-operation to the good work of the Sabha, at the same time I opposed the steps adverse to the people. I follow the same policy in this Sabha too. Ranjith Lansakara (PA) said, JVP is a democratic party that opposed the policies of both PA and UNP. However the Member Kannangara during our period supported the Sabha with the decentralised funds of the JVP PC members.

Vice Chairman Thushara Amarasena (UNP) said, the JVP Member Kannangara sat next to me at the previous Sabha. I rescued him when the PA members attacked him then. However the PA and JVP had now entered into an alliance. They are on the same platform now.

Piyal Devapriya (PA) said, that is what is called politics. Those days the UNP used JVP as a cats' paw to launch protest campaigns against the PA Government. Both UNP and JVP were in the Opposition then. Now the UNP is the Ruling Party and PA and JVP are in the Opposition. As they have common interests they could be in the common platform.

Lalith Priyankara (UNP) said, Member Kannangara was a victim of the post election violence in 2001. He was treated at the Intensive Care Unit of the National Hospital Colombo. I am glad that he had been re-nominated to this Sabha. At the same time I condemn the thuggery attacks on people's representatives.

The Chairman said that Rs. 427,000 was allocated for the modernisation of Pannala, Giriulla and Makandura Bus Stands.

Piyal Devapriya (PA) said, the Chairman suspended the construction of and unauthorised structure opposite Pannala Bus Stand. That construction is re-commenced now.

Sampath Bank

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