Friday, June 22, 2012
The Rio +20 Eco Summit – another junket – we wasted our chances
While the President takes all these Sri Lankan Aircraft from the Airline and treats it as his personal allowances, at a cost of over Rs500M while the airline bleeds, a team of young people have also had to find their way at huge expense to Rio. When such costs are incurred it is automatically assumed that the benefits accruing to the country exceed the cost of these junkets, and that is the reason for the expense.
I have followed the progress of the summit as well as our participation, and do not believe we have either contributed to the summit or gained from it. When we set goals and do not achieve even a drop of benefit, it is the nation that suffers from the lack of accountability for these goals. Rio was hyped as a follow up to the Rio summit of 1992, this being the 20th anniversary of the time when ambitious environmental goals were set for the world, which can be measured now with a 20 year hindsight, learn from it and set more realistic practical or achievable goals for the future.
We in Sri Lanka are on a path to environmental destruction which no amount of Rio’s are going to solve. It is purely an internal issue of an administration bent on destroying the environment for personal use. First it was the removal of permits for the transport of sand, which resulted in a gold rush of destruction at every conceivable river bed. Then it was the removal of requirements of permit for most tree felling, which is about to result in most of the Jack trees being cut. This rape of jack, a fruit that poor people can survive on if they have no other means of survival is a threat to human life in Sri Lanka.
What will be next? If the use of backhoes for gem mining which leads a soil erosion and rape of water ways then that is also on the government’s watch along with the digging for artifacts that now go unabated, with the threat of the Kaudulla Lake being dredge dry so a supposed artifact under a rock is to be removed.
The Government line at Rio is that they will present a perfectly rosy picture of all they have done to conserve the environment, which is the furthest from the truth. As is their 'modus operandi' to fool whoever will listen, will show in light of the foregoing destructive policies that they have done performed constructive ones. The Environmentalists knowing full well what a pack of lies this is has decided to present the true picture at Rio 420 which is the side summit of the non governmental side that attempts to show again how the world is actually performing no matter what the Governments say.
We as concerned citizens for our planet and country must publicize this canard to our public and show them that their elected government is bent on living a lie, and lies do not make an environment free from pollution. Remember the theme of Rio+20 is 'Sustainable Development' we must try and ensure we are able to sustain our lifestyle and bequeath our children permanency and not degradation.
Let us forget Rio and protect our ‘Precious Land’ from a Govt. bent on using International fora to fool a nation into a smugness that is misinformation at its worst. If this Govt. is given ANY MOR LEAWAY we as a nation in a matter of a year will wonder why we tolerated, permitted or let ourselves be fooled by charlatans posing as saviors, when we allowed mass destruction in the name of patriotism of the foolish!