EPDP, SLA said colluding in sand business

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 05 November 2003, 15:25 GMT]
The Eelam People’s Democratic Party, aided by the Sri Lanka Army and the Police, is removing sand at night from the Vadamaradchi east coast, where civil organizations recently imposed a ban on sand removal formed a committee to regulate it, and selling the sand in the Jaffna town area, sources in Jaffna said.

As there is a shortage of sand for construction in Jaffna, the EPDP is said to be profiteering with the collusion of the SLA.

The public and civil society groups in Vadamaradchi east have placed a ban on sand excavation from the coast, saying such removal impacts the survival of their villages at a time when nothing is being done to provide basic facilities to the villages.

"They [the sand removers] are ransacking our environment. The village gets nothing in return. We do not even have electricity. We will be exposed to nature's fury if the dunes are gone," Mr. Alagurasah, a community leader in Manalkadu, one of the villages in Vadamaradchi east, told TamilNet earlier in October.

The civil organizations later formed a seven-member committee that regulates the excavation of sand, identifying the sites where sand removal is permitted and regulating the transport of sand. However, the EPDP is surreptitiously removing sand at night, ignoring and violating the ban with the aid of the SLA and Police.

The EPDP’s profiteering from the illegal sand business has angered the public.

In the past, the EPDP was involved in the lobster business in Neduntheevu, but that business is no longer operating, and the EPDP has found the sand business profitable, sources said.

 

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