Do not make water a weapon - Basil
August 16, 2013 08:44 pm
Minister Basil Rajapaksa today said that water should never be made a weapon and reminded that the British colonialists had destroyed the country’s ancient tanks, irrigation systems, reservoirs and other water resources which were the main stay of the country’s economy.
“Their objective was to break the will of the nation and subjugate it by turning cultivated fertile agricultural land into waste lands,” he said, addressing the second international Conference on Community and Water Services at the North Central Provincial council’s auditorium at Anuradhapura.
He added that once again the country was reaching self-sufficiency, thanks to the ‘Mahinda Chinthana’ Vision, although in the process of developing the country various problems are confronting the government, especially because of the activities of certain groups.
He stressed that Sri Lankan society should not to be racially and religiously divided.
The Minister of Economic Development observed that water was strongly linked to the Sri Lankan way of life and culture.
The Anuradhapura civilization gave the highest priority to irrigation technology, according to Minister Rajapaksa who also pointed out that the mark of prosperity of the village in ancient times was the combination of the tank (wewa) and the dagaba.
While industrial development was vital today it was necessary to be fully aware of its harmful side effects - environmental pollution such as effluent and industrial waste seeping into the ground and flowing into water ways – and take preventive measures.
Nearly 500 local and foreign delegates attended the first day of the three-day seminar, titled ‘Water Cooperation for Community Development’ organised by the Water Supply and Drainage Ministry under the direction of Minister Dinesh Gunawardena.