Mannar is a sand island perched on a limestone base. The hydraulic pressure of the groundwater in the kulams keeps the sea water from intruding. As significant areas of Mannar Island are targeted for mineral sand mining, working to a depth of 12 metres, the result will be widespread sea water intrusion which will then contaminate the groundwater supplies –promoting the destruction of agricultural livelihoods.
In addition, mining will decimate precious old growth palmyrah forests (similar to those in the photo). The latter will increase the desertification of an island already located in the arid zone of Sri Lanka and adversely impact its biodiversity. The remnant forest is also home to dwindling numbers of wildlife and birds, deer, wild boar and migratory birds in particular.
This memorandum is directed against the moves of an Australian company, the Titanium Sands (which is based in Perth). SEE https://thuppahis.com/2021/01/10/locals-and-environmentalists-challenge-an-aussie-sand-mining-project-in-mannar/
Jeremy Liyanage: “Bridging Lanka I: Sustaining Mannar’s Kulams,” 11 February 2017, https://thuppahis.com/2017/02/11/bridging-lanka-i-sustaining-mannars-kulams/
Jeremy Liyanage was born in Sri Lanka and is an Australian citizen who has invested many years of endeavour towards improving the lives of the people on Mannar Island as well as its immediate coastal hinterland. He is the Executive Director, Bridging Lanka Ltd………………………………...
M: +61 (0) 403 694 132 (Australia) ………………M: +94 (0) 771 023 981 (Sri Lanka)
W: www.bridginglanka.org………………………………. FB: Bridging Lanka
A Comment from Fair Dinkum, 1 January 2021:
What is Australia up to in Sri Lanka? There was a very good Al Jazeera documentary on the sand wars, a major global threat, and greedy Australia is exploiting Sri Lanka’s resources. This cannot be in the national interests of Sri Lanka. Depleting sand from beaches leads to erosion of the coast line………………………….. SEE https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2020-12-23/mining-mannar-island-titanium-sands-bird-sanctuary/12914650
COMMENT Two from Fair Dinkum, January 2021:
I am very interested and concerned with what is happening in Mannar. Apart from that one item by the ABC, this issue has received no attention in the Australian media, namely the Murdoch Mafia.
Good that Jeremy has first hand knowledge of what is occurring and is revealing the truth. That Dr whoever from Australia is playing politics and has no concern for the people or environment, and to say that this mining brings a livelihood to local communities is claptrap. That Perth company will make big profits and leave an ecological and economic disaster for the local peoples. It is unethical and immoral.
This is a problem in many countries and Western democracies play dirty when it comes to mining for profit.
In America, a guy called Steven Donziger, who uncovered the Chevron mining fiasco in Ecuador has been in house arrest for 500 days, by order of two US judges who had investments in Chevron. That company also talked about mining helping local communities, but the result has been an environmental catastrophe for locals, while profits all went to the US, and they went after the man who did the right thing to unmask it…. those judges are corrupt.
HOT PRESS, 13 JANUARY 2021:
Titanium Sands’ PR agency in SL, ‘South Asian Public Affairs, SAPA Consulting‘s latest broadside is a letter addressed to Sri Lanka’s Environment Minister, the Australian High Commissioner in Colombo and the Mannar GA condemning Bridging Lanka for spreading false and damaging information about the company through an online petition on change.org