Looting of national mineral wealth, under the nose of the HE

(Lanka-e-News -06.Jan.2017, 11.30PM)  Now he is about to start the 3rd and most probably the crucial term that will decide the fate of him as well as the nation. Despite of many endeavours that he has engaged in the last two years, with utter successes and probable failures, the best “litmus test” is the performances of the ministry that is allotted for him.   Being an undisputed vocal champion of environmental protection sans what happens in Wilpathu and Wayamba Environment Act, we shall have a close look to measure his wisdom on the environment and the natural resources just running a small test on the “Function of the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau” the institute that entrusted to secure the national mineral wealth which is under his watch. 

Under the present administration the looting that was initiated in the mineral sector, decades ago, prosper far and large mainly due to the ignorance of the line ministry. Sand and gravel mining extended out of portion with colossal damage which the nation has to pay sooner or later. Sand permits were given only under political influence and Yanoya is one of the living example for such violation. The Wilgamuwa remain as “non-liberated area” as even the police reluctant to entire. In such area sand operation is unto themselves, hardly any law and run by politicos who were closed to the MR regime and known as “kings of ethanol”. The day-light robbery of sand on the flood plains extended from Maoya to KirindiOya and destined to consume most of the rivers and tributaries island-wide, as the HE preaches his environment protection slogans. 

The precious national mineral wealth particularly vein quartz, graphite and mineral sands are in-line for abuse, as politicos work closely with their cronies who were illegally implemented at the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau. The most valuable vein quartz resource in the country, Randeniya-Wellawaya, has been offered to a company which the chairman of the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau Happen to be the Chairman of such company as well. No either environment impact assessment and mineral exploration survey was conducted for this particular venture, which is a requirement for issuing such licenses. The Minister either have no clue what is happening in his own ministry or might have vested interest on such eventualities. The many that the Company would be extracting on this national mineral wealth exceeds 2 billion and where the money ends up is one of the “million-dollar question”. The Ministry simply allowed the officers of the Regulatory body of the national mineral wealth to be engaged in commercial activities with conflict of interests. 

The countries’ prime share of minerals is undisputedly being graphite. However, it is handled in a manner that the country loses millions is the foreign stock markets and a bunch of manipulators, having a close links with inside-officials, controlled the whole of the graphite wealth with under-dealings and third-party selling. The way the things adversely progress in the mineral sector, the country will be considered as a nation with depleted mineral resources with colossal environment damage in 2025 instead the philosophical lengthily TALKS of the line Minister happened to be the President of the nation. Unfortunately, the misdeeds of the Institute may mount into a few volumes considered the cement industry, mineral sands and each and every natural resource that occurs in this land.  And this is an Institute who failed to adhere the court decision by the Supreme Court since 2002, as still the Bureau neglects to quantify the Eppawala phosphate deposit, a clear violation of the court order and a contempt of court. A man who publically committed to re-establish the battered law and order of the land shall begin at home. 

One of the most important institutes of the land, which is empowered to secure the nation’s mineral wealth, running a prolong time in head-less manner. Since April 2016 the head of the institute, Director General, is on temporary basis and the line ministry failed to find a proper appointment for the same. Understandably the temporary appointment has gone to the length only to fulfil political desires just to obtain favours for the possible permanency and safeguarding his cronies in the ranks of Geological Surveys, who involved in colossal corruption that exceeds many millions. 

The way the Minister handled one of the institutes that comes under his preview may portray how he will be handling the nation in the next few years.

Note: Special compilation and you can chalk the facts and if you run this in parallel to the 3rd year initiation that would be very appropriate as GSMB is spending millions to enhance the HE image and cover the GSMB misdeeds via a series of publications. 

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by     (2017-01-06 23:08:02)

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