Silawathurei large-scale Cashew plantations, Sri Lanka

The Civil Security Force has appropriated land for cashew plantations at the boundary of Wilpattu National Park, affecting local environment, already under pressure by human settlements of returnees from the civil war.


The Civil Security Force of Kondachchi appropriated 6,000 acres (2428ha) of land to establish a cashew plantation, states a report released in 2012 by PARL Sri Lanka, a local EJO [1]. The area is near the Civil Security Force Camp in Kondachchi and includes a 100 meter stretch of forest on both sides of the Silawathurei-Wilachchi Road up to Kalaaru, the boundary of Wilpattu National Park. Following the report [1] and sources by the Ministry of Defence (Sri Lanka) [9], cashew has been planted in an area of 1,000 acres. However, other more recent data sources (specifically, a report of a Select Committee of Parliament drafted in 2014)[8] states that the area of cashew plantation cultivated by the Civil Security Force in Kondachchi now covers 2,000 acres (809ha).

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Basic Data
NameSilawathurei large-scale Cashew plantations, Sri Lanka
CountrySri Lanka
ProvinceMannar district, Northern Province
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Land acquisition conflicts
Plantation conflicts (incl. Pulp
Intensive food production (monoculture and livestock)
Specific CommoditiesLand
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe Civil Security Force (CSF) cultivated over 10,500 acres since the end of the humanitarian operation. 1,000 of this 10,500 acres are used for cashew plantation in Kondachchi [9].

According to other sources the area of the Cashew plantation controlled by Civil Security Department is of 2,000 acres. Specifically, latest governmental sources (2014) state that out of 25,000 acres of cashew plantation in Kondachchi, 19,000 acres have been acquired by the government, another 2,000 acres are cultivated by the Civil Security Department, and action has been taken to cultivate the remaining 4,000 acres by the Cashew Corporation [8]
Project Area (in hectares)809ha (cultivated area)
Level of Investment (in USD)unknown
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Populationunknown
Start Date2012
Company Names or State EnterprisesSri Lanka Cashew Corporation ((SLCC) ) from Sri Lanka
Relevant government actorsCivil Security Force (Sri Lanka)

Civil Security Department (Sri Lanka)

Ministry of Defence (Sri Lanka)

Departments of Forest Conservation, Wildlife Conservation, Archaeology, Land Commissioner and Agrarian Services (Sri Lanka)

Ministry of Economic Development

Government of Sri Lanka
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersCentre for Environmental Justice (CEJ)

Sri Lanka Nature Group

People’s Alliance for Right to Land
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LATENT (no visible organising at the moment)
When did the mobilization beginLATENT (no visible resistance)
Groups MobilizingLocal ejos
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of MobilizationCreation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of alternative proposals
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Other Environmental impacts
Potential: Desertification/Drought, Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Groundwater pollution or depletion
OtherThe area was an important corridor for elephants, since their natural habitat has being cleared up the will pass through villages leading to an escalation of the human-elephant conflict
Health ImpactsPotential: Malnutrition
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Militarization and increased police presence, Land dispossession, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment
Potential: Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseThe project was implemented in spite of lack of compliance with the Law
Development of AlternativesLocal EJOs underline the presence of barren lands and ask to the Ministry of Economic Development to use that ones if it needs soil for development activities or for the human settlements.

In particular the Centre for Environmental Justice is stressing the need of the Ministry of Economic Development to make the development more sustainable by preserving every remaining forest lands and respecting to the environmental laws of the country [10].
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.The plantation has been implemented
Sources and Materials

[3] Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance
[click to view]

[2] Land Development Ordinance 1935 (No. 19 of 1935) and amends
[click to view]

[4] National Environmental Act and its amends
[click to view]


Centre for Environmental Justice. Environment Law. Ravindranath Dabare Attorney-at-Law. Sri Lanka, 2009
[click to view]

[1] Uprooting people from the land. Land grabbing, current status and trends in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Nature Group, People’s Alliance for Right to Land - PARL. June 2012
[click to view]


[7] Article on wikipedia. Sri Lankan IDP camps. (accessed 14/04/2015)
[click to view]

[5] Online article on Yahoo group -Sri Lanka wildlife (11/11/2010) 'Wildlife sanctuaries are more business hub. Last onslaught in Wilpattu’s slow rape. By Rathindra Kuruwita (accessed 14/04/2015)
[click to view]

[6] Online article on Ground Views (09/19/2013). State Facilitated Colonization of Northern Sri Lanka. By WATCHDOG (accessed 13/04/2015)
[click to view]

[8] Report of the Select Committee of Parliament to discuss the Heads of Expenditure of Ministries selected from the Budget Estimates of 2015. Parliamentary Series N. 344. November 2014. (accessed 13/04/2015)
[click to view]

[9]Online article on Ministry of Defence web site 2/5/2013. Civil Security Force propels cultivation drive.
[click to view]

Centre for Environmental Justice. News lettere MAY 2014 Volume 1 Issue 5. Land Grabbing in Wilpattu To Sannar Act of Ministry of Economic Development (accessed 13/04/2015)
[click to view]

Other Documents

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Meta Information
ContributorCentre for Environmental Justice (Colombo, Sri Lanka) and Paola Camisani (EJOLT team, Barcelona)
Last update20/07/2015