Mannar residents staged a protest on 29 August demanding that the construction of wind power canals and wind power plants in the Mannar lagoon and sand mining be halted immediately.
Local businesses closed in solidarity with the protest and demonstrators marched from the city to the Mannar District Secretariat. Fishermen, re-settlers, civic organisations, religious leaders and political representatives also took part in the protest march.
The protesters say that various foreign companies are mining the rich mineral sand in Mannar’s lagoon and that there is a risk of environmental destruction which will have a severe impact on locals as well as fishermen.
When the Government designates land near the Mannar coast for specific investments and projects, the coastal environment will be severely harmed, and the construction of electricity canals for wind power will have a significant impact on the fishing industry as well as the general public, so the projects should be scrapped immediately, protesters said
At the conclusion of the protest, the protestors handed over a memorandum containing their demands to the Governor of Mannar, Stanley Mel, and were informed that take steps to forward the relevant demands to the authorities.
By Shashi Kumar – Mulathivu