Sri Lankan Campaign against Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project

Below is a press-statement by the Greens Movement of Sri Lanka issued in August 2005

The Greens invite all those who feel for the environment and the life systems of the fisherfolk of the north of the island to gather at the Fort railway station for a protest against the uncaring, unethical and destructive plan to go ahead with the Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project

According to scientists, Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project started by the government of India has many adverse effects on Sri Lanka . It is already proved that both India and Sri Lanka will undergo massive environmental damage as a direct result of this project.

From its inception, the Indian government acted in a very irresponsible manner on these adverse effects. In Sri Lanka , institutions responsible for monitoring this work also acted in a similar manner. The team representing Sri Lanka at the conference which was held in New Delhi on 1st August 2005, had, with a naiveté that was absolutely astonishing, has given consent for the project.

Because of this irresponsible action of the team we have lost another chance of presenting our objections on this project. This has violated the rights of Sri Lankans.

Our voice and our formal protests to the two governments, the UN and every relevant authority have fallen on deaf ears. Under the circumstances we see no choice but to launch a national campaign against Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project. The national movement against Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project is a joined collaboration of fisheries communities and Community Based Organizations. The campaign organized by this national movement will be launched on the 24th of August starting from the Fort Railway Station. We will need to gather there by 11 am in order to commence our march at 12.30 pm. PLEASE BE THERE TO HELP US IN THIS MOST IMPORTANT EFFORT TO STOP IREPAIRABLE DAMAGE FROM BEING CAUSED TO OUR NATION.

Immediately after the campaign the gathering will march to the High Commission and handover the memorandum to Mrs. Nirupama Rao, the high commissioner of India in Sri Lanka .

We request the press to give full propaganda for this event and to provide team of media personnel to cover this occasion.