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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 114

Environmentalists urge Kumaratunga to take up canal issue ..

Colombo, 02 June, ( Sri Lankan environmentalists urged the government to take up the Sethusamudram project as a top priority issue with Indian leaders as the shipping canal that India plans to dig off its southern coast could have disastrous consequences for the marine and coastal ecosystems in the island nation.

On the eve of the President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s visit to New Delhi to meet the Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Sri Lankan environmentalists have called on the government to make high level representations to Indian authorities on the controversial Sethusamudram ship canal project, before it is too late.

"Sri Lanka is still not cleared of all likely negatives resulting from the project, including possible implications on the monsoonal rain patterns which the country's agricultural sector is solely dependant on," a leading environmentalist said at a seminar organised by the Green Movement of Sri Lanka at the Mahaweli Centre. "The canal project could trigger unforeseen environmental impacts that would be detrimental in the longer run other than the predicted ones like irreversible damage to the rich marine ecosystem and environment pollution."

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