Environmental Commission formed in Kilinochchi

[TamilNet, Saturday, 23 July 2005, 11:25 GMT]
The inaugural event of the Thamileelam Commision for Environmental Governance (TCEG) was held at the Planning and Development Secretariat (PDS) located in Kilinochchi presided by Liberation Tiger's Head of Political Wing S P Thamilchelvan at 10 am Saturday, sources in Kilinochchi said. The main mission of the Commission is to ensure environmental protection in the NorthEast, PDS officials said.

Environmental commission
Senior members of the LTTE, K V Balakumaran and Karikalan lit the common flame and S P Thamilchelvan hoisted the Tamileelam national flag.

Environmental commission
Environmental commission
Environmental commission
Environmental commission
More than 150 attendees from Health department, Local councils, Agriculture department, Irrigation department, Office of the Government Agent, International and Local NGOs and cadres of LTTE involved in environmental matters participated in the inaugural event.

Director of Sub-committee on Immediate Humanitarian and Rehabilitation Needs (SIRHN), Selvin Irenuess, detailed the activities of the new commission. The commission while pursuing the main mission will also be responsible for creating environmental education programs, recommending guidelines relating to the environmental preservation and will conduct an environmental impact evaluation on commercial, industrial activities that are likely to affect the environment, he said.

Deputy Director of PDS, Shanmugalingam Ranjan, formally presented the Commission's Policy Document to S P Thamilchelvan.

Professor Jeyasingham from Eastern University and Professor Sriskandarajah from Denmark outlined the critical importance of preserving NorthEast environment and the importance of taking preemptive efforts to replenish depleting resources especially in the area of forestry.

Thamilchelvan speaking at the event said, "Successive governments of Sri Lanka, in addition to destroying the infrastructure and livelihoods of Tamil people, showed similar intensity in destroying the environment and natural resources of the NorthEast. Our leader instilled the need for preserving the environment in our cadres and have urged everyone to promote environmental efforts even during periods of war.

"Sri Lanka Army has destroyed much of our forestry. Coconut estates and Palmyrah population have been destroyed for use as lumber to construct bunkers, reinforce observation posts and to protect the camps in most areas of NorthEast.

"We have made significant progress already in reforestration. The Economic Consultancy House (TECH) has annual events celebrating environmental day where people are educated on environmental matters and free saplings of fruit bearing trees are distributed free. Coastal areas are receiving focussed study to prevent erosion and more recently actions are being formulated to protect the coastline from natural disasters. Water resources including the conservation and optimal use of water from our network of irrigation tanks, saliniation in coastal and interiar lands are being addressed.

"This Commission is the result of efforts by local and expatriate Tamils who intensely worked to create an organized effort to focus on the environment and presented to us recommendations in the past several years.

"I urge everyone to assist the Environmental commission, especially those who have expertise in environmental matters to support the efforts of this commission," Thamilchelvan said.


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