It is to be carried out by Alpha and Omega Developers (Pvt.) Ltd. The area, located north of Udawalawe national park, is a habitat of wild elephants.
The jungle land there had been fraudulently handed over to various persons by the father of S.M. Janaka Ravindra Kalupahana, Basnayake Nilame of Kuda Kataragama Devale at Soragune. It was from one such person that the investor for the project, US resident Vasu Rasiah, had obtained the land.
During the previous regime, Udith Lokubandara had supported the project. After the present government took office, Rasaiah tried to get minister Harim Fernando’s support for the project. Certain top officials of Haldummulla area are already supporting it.
The Movement says it is sad to note the support being given to the project by BOI chairman Jayasuriya. To build and run a gold course in the dry zone, large amounts of water, urea fertilizer as well as pesticide are needed as the ground will be prone to insect attacks. Also, chemicals with aluminum are needed to prevent soil erosion. Such a high level of chemical use will mean the reservoirs irrigated by Veli Oya will be contaminated. The project will not only pollute the available water, but also create an acute water shortage.
The Movement urges the CEA and the environment ministry to make an immediate intervention.