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The Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ) - Friends of the Earth Sri Lanka has warned the international community about the decision by the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) of the country to authorize the installation of a hydroelectric project in Athwelthota Waterfall (also known as “Pilithuda Waterfall”), on a river of the Sinharaja rainforest, in the Southwest region of the country.
According to CEJ, the Sri Lankan government decision allows for the destruction of a living laboratory for scientists, the home of several endangered or vulnerable animal species and part of the natural heritage of Sri Lanka.
Hemantha Withanage, Executive Director at CEJ, wrote a letter to Sri Lankan President, Maithripala Sirisena (who is also the Minister of Environment), to express their rejection and concern over this decision. He also sent a letter to the CEA and CEJ is considering going to court.
Real World Radio interviewed Withanage to have more information about this environmental conflict. We also took the opportunity to ask the chair of CEJ about his expectations with reference to the current negotiations as part of a new UN Conference of the Parties (COP) on Climate Change to take place in Marrakech, Morocco. The activist has been following closely these negotiations for years and has shown specific concern over the situation of "climate refugees", especially in Asia.
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