CEJ , Uruwarige Wannila Aththo & Hemantha Withanage, Battles to Protect Rambakan Oya Ancestral Lands

Chandana Sesath Jayakody

Leader of Sri Lanka’s indigenous (Vedda) community Uru Warige Wannila Aththo, Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ) and Hemantha Wijanage filed a petition today (08.02.2021) at the Court of Appeal seeking a court order preventing the Mahaweli Authority from acquiring the indigenous community’s lands for maize cultivation.

Pointing out that the Mahaweli Development Authority had acquired over 50,000 acres of the forests and heritage land owned by them, they said the lands were used for centuries by Vedda community for their daily livelihoods.

The Mahaweli Authority of Sri Lanka, the Director General of the Department of Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Minister C.B. Ratnayake and the Secretary to the ministry are among the respondents named in the petition.

Chandana Sesath Jayakody

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