K.Kurunathan (Rtd Land Commissioner)
Resources are gifts offered to us by nature. As much as possible, we have the responsibility to safeguard these resources.
However, the limestones exploited from Vali North High Security Zone in the North are smuggled to the South of Sri Lanka in a planned manner. By the illicit excavations, the areas concerned have been deepened and the land level has gown down below the sea level. As a result of the excavation of sand from the river bank of Kallaru in Mullikulam situated in the Southern boundary of Mannar, large puddles are found for many kilo meters distance.
In the North, biological unrelated resources are: limestones, sand, salt (Elephant Pass, Mannar) and clay (OddisuddanMurunkan).
Biological related resources in the North are:-Sea related resources,’Kandal trees’, forest and palmyrah resources. In coastal areas, lakes, Bays, marshy lands and forests are found convenient places for aquatic developments, and few small resourceful islands (Arippu, Muthumedu, Pethurumedu) are found convenient places for fishing bases.
In the name of security zone, about 144 Sq.KM area and 81 Km coastal areas have been encroached. In Mannar Park Strait and North seas Indian fishing rollers are aggressing and exploiting our valuable prawns, Changu, Sea Cucumber, cuttle fish etc.by using banned fishing methods.
The Indian fishing trawlers are continuously penetrating into the Northern seas thrice a week and exploiting our aquatic resources. During the past there was no Deep Sea Fishing in the North. Although there were facilities for Deep Sea Fishing, neither permission nor infrastructure facilities were provided to our fishermen up to now. However the fishermen from the South are independently robbing the deep sea resources.
200 miles of deep sea from the coast of Vada maraachchi East and Mullatheevu are found to be resourceful. The famous fishing Pethuru platform is also found here. In these areas the Northern fishermen have lost their rights of fishing.
As a result, our fishermen have no Multiday boats which can be deployed in deep seas. They also do not have the training to use them. Also there is no harbour facilities for our fishermen. Therefore deep sea fishing to our people are sour grapes.
Due to the above reason, the fishermen from the South are anchoring in Trincomalee and with the help of Multi day boats and by using Tuna Long line, Deep Drift Net Surrounding Nets they are engaged in exploiting our aquatic resources.
As these happens in deep seas we are unable to realize the situation of our wealth being robbed. During the war situations in the past 3 decades valuable human resources were devastated. After the ending of war, unlimited natural resources, mineral resources etc. are being exploited and smuggled by people from the South of Sri Lanka. Such a situation is very dangerous and a challenging for the future development of North.
Whether there will be summer in the North or not, it is a fact that South of Sri Lanka will flourish by the exploitation of resources from North.
Note: Presently in Mannar sea bed, 2 layers of residues namely ‘Dorado’ and ‘Paraguda’ have been found and Two Trillion sq.ft of natural gas and 10 Million barrels of Liquid petroleum are said to be found.
As a result of these, there are possibilities of development in other productive sectors also. If so why the political authorities are hesitating to use these resources and it must be investigated into as to whether they have been bribed by the Petroleum exporting Arab countries.