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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
Name of conflict:Silawathurei large-scale Cashew plantations, Sri Lanka
Country:Sri Lanka
State or province:Mannar district, Northern Province
Location of conflict:Kondachchi
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:Intensive food production (monoculture and livestock)
Land acquisition conflicts
Plantation conflicts (incl. Pulp
Specific commodities:Land
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The 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].

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Project area:809ha (cultivated area)
Level of Investment:unknown
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:unknown
Start of the conflict:2012
Company names or state enterprises:Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation ((SLCC) ) from Sri Lanka
Relevant government actors:Civil 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 organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ)
Sri Lanka Nature Group
People’s Alliance for Right to Land
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLATENT (no visible organising at the moment)
Reaction stageLATENT (no visible resistance)
Groups mobilizing:Local ejos
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Creation 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
Other Environmental impactsThe 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-economical 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
Conflict outcome / response:The project was implemented in spite of lack of compliance with the Law
Development of alternatives:Local 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 an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The plantation has been implemented
Sources & Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

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

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

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

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[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]

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

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[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]

[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]

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]

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

Meta information
Contributor:Centre for Environmental Justice (Colombo, Sri Lanka) and Paola Camisani (EJOLT team, Barcelona)
Last update20/07/2015
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