Case against clearing of the Muthurajawela Wetlands – CA WRT 43/21
December 20, 2023
By: Vibuda Wijebandara
CEJ Filed this case against the CEA and others on 26.01.2021 to prevent illegal landfilling, and dumping of waste in Muthurajawela Wetland in Negombo, Wattala, and Ja-ela in the Western Province was considered by the Court of Appeal. Illegal Landfills and Dumping waste have caused intensive damage to the environment. We have prayed that a writ of mandamus is issued against Respondents to take proper actions against persons responsible for illegal landfilling and protect and conserve the Muthurajawela Wetland, in terms of the law.
The Case was fixed for support on 12th February 2021. This case is taken with the other case filed by His Eminence Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith bearing the number CA WRT 69/21. Mr. Priyantha Nawana who is the Deputy Solicitor General of the case appearing for the AG informed the court that another case in the Supreme Court has issued an interim order to prevent dumping garbage to the Muthurajawela wetland. The petitioners questioned whether polluting water resources, infilling, reclamation, or developing buildings were also included in that interim order. The AG was given the time to inform the court about them.
On 06th of August 2021, the learned additional solicitor general Mr.Sumathi Dharmawardena, PC informs the court that he has already filed a motion dated 05.08.2021. However, the learned Additional solicitor general further submits that there is a necessity to demarcate the Western boundary and the southern boundary of the Environmental protection area of the CEA and accordingly, he seeks permission to file an amended motion within the day. Thus, everyone can identify the real boundaries of the sanctuary and when the illegal activities start inside of the boundaries relevant authorities and civil society can take suitable action against those activities.
The court directed, on the 5th of August 2023, the respondents to submit a report including the demarcation progress. The respondents have to show the progress to court and it may lead to execute the order. The case is fixed for mention on the 02nd of May 2024.