[Completed] Meethotamulla Garbage Case – SC/FR/152/2017
December 20, 2023
By: Vibuda Wijebandara
This case was filed on 31st May 2017 in the Supreme Court against the violation of fundamental rights by the unnecessary garbage dumping management of the government in Sri Lanka. Petitioners have complained to the court about dumping of garbage all over the country and called for the formulation of a national policy on garbage dumping. Specially, in this case Meethotamulla incident is cited as an adverse impact of unnecessary garbage plan. Petitioners further state to the court that unnecessary garbage dumping influences right to life, right to healthy environment and future generation’s rights of the country.
The respondents of this case are President Maithreepala Sirisena (Minister of Environment & Mahaweli) and Minister of disaster management, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa and Central Environment Authority.
Petitioner prays that the purported Gazette notification dated 20th April 2017 bearing No 2015/53 is null and void and of no force of avail in law. As well as petitioner request to direct the respondents to take immediate measures not to disturb the livelihood of the communities by allowing the local authorities to dump garbage at unauthorized places where there are no permits issued by CEA and formulate proper procedure of management of waste and to formulate a national policy regulation and mechanism. The Attorney General Department was taken further time to obtain instructing from the Respondents. This Matter was supported on 16th of November 2017. As a result, it was agreed to prepare the new National Policy on waste management. All the relevant ministries, authorities and other relevant parties submitted their observations and comments. The final meeting was held on 20th of April 2018 in the Ministry of the Mahaweli Development and Environment. CEJ also participated to this meeting as a petitioner party. The matter was called on 16th of June 2018 for further progress. It is still waiting for the cabinet approval as the Government changed. The case was fixed to evaluate the progress of obtaining the cabinet approval for the draft National Policy on Waste Management on 20th November 2020. This case was mentioned on 17th February 2021 and the AG informed the court that the Waste Management Policy is still pending in the Department of Printing. The case is now fixed to be mentioned on 10th June 2021.