President Maithripala Sirisena has issued an order to expedite the work of Uma Oya multipurpose Development Project, which has created disastrous conditions to the villages around Bandarawela over the last few years passed.
The people of the area were protesting against the Uma Oya project, which was launched under the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime, due to a number of issues that caused the destruction of properties and drying up natural water springs and water bodies. However, the Rajapaksas or the present government failed to solve the problems.
Former Member of Parliament of the JVP Samantha Vidyaratne, who intervened by joining with the residents’ protests of the area, alleged that the project was launched only to fulfill political needs. He then organised people’s representatives to discuss the matter with the President too. However in the recent past, protests have subsided due to local government election campaigns. In the end, an independent group connected to the JVP have been nominated to contest for Bandarawela through the people’s movement who were protesting against the Uma Oya multi Destructive Project. Former Parliamentarian Samantha Vidyarathna has been engaged in an election campaign for the Independent group, saying that if people elect the Independent Group, they’ll punish those who responsible for the Uma Oya environmental disaster in a Peoples’ Court.
However, the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment, at it’s recent progress review meeting, ordered the assigned officials to finish the work to the Uma Oya exploration project prior to the local government election.