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Weerawila Airport would put birds to flight
Wednesday, 7 February 2007 - 3:56 AM SL Time

The proposed second international airport, in the southern part of the country, Weeravila will have a definite impact on migratory birds that visit one of the best wetlands in the country, the Bundala Sanctuary.

Environment lawyer Jagath Gunawardena said that the Bundala sanctuary will definitely be affected.

Apart from the arrival of a large number migratory birds, the Bundala Sanctuary was home to a number of resident birds of which a substantial number are endemic.

Speaking at a seminar to mark the World Wetland Day, on Monday, at the Central Environment Authority (CEA), Gunawardena said that according to information received prior to proposing the airport site; the recordings were done between April and July and that was not a season for migratory birds.

A number of representatives, who from environmental friendly organizations said the proposed airport in Weeravila would lead to a number of issues and would not be economically viable.

The Island reliably learns that this proposed 4,000-metre international airstrip would cost a staggering rupees 7,000 million according to economic analysts.

Related News Articles:
18-10-2006   President to address nation from Weerawila
28-5-2006   Weerawila airport to cost $ 125m, ready by 2010
28-1-2006   Farmers back Weerawila for Airport

• Associated Press

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7 Feb 2007 01:14:11 GMT  Report for Abuse   
Bundala .. happy to hear of this place-name. This is the place sanctified by the saintly British monk, Ven Gnanaweera .. who some believe attained 'sotapatti' while meditating at a 'kutiya', at this location.

Building a fitting religious structure is some-thing we Sinhala budhists should do .. to consecrate his memory. It could be a small chetiya, and a dharma-salawa dedicated to Ven Gnanaweera .. with some historical artefacts relating to his life, prior to arrival in Sri Lanka, also presented .. It should be built close to the site where he spent his time in meditation, and as some believe attained 'marga-phala' ..

Tourists from Britain, and other western countries coming to the South will seek-out this land-mark in Bundala .. and go back inspired with the Teaching of the Budha.

(Ven Gnanaweera was the name taken at ordination, by the former British Army (Intelligence) Officer, Capt Harald Musson, who came to Sri Lanka at the end of WWII .. while still a young man .. and remained until his death in SL .. intent on budhist meditation, and on reaching the Path to Deliverance .. in this very life. His Set of Notes on 'Clearing the Path' .. intended to help his former 'brother-in-arms' Ven Gnanamoli, travel the same 'Path' .. has been praised highly by leading psychologists - among them Prof of Psychology at the Univ of Colorado, USA .. as profound, outstanding .. in superlative terms).
Edited By - SenaM - 7 Feb 2007 22:52:09 GMT
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7 Feb 2007 02:01:54 GMT  Report for Abuse   
I am not sure whether international or domestic flights will be landing on Weerawila any soon. It might take about 2-3 years alone to find out which minister is responsible for this project. However, the following rumours were heard through people who are really disrupted by the project other than the farmers and birds:

(a) Why do we need a second air port, what is required is the expansion of the current one. Where do we find the space?
(b) The current international airline is going banckrupt, it is not closing down because it is a national carrier. ( not knowing that Swissair has been grounded). And why do we need another airport (I thought there is a difference between air lines and the Airports)
(c)Birds are affected. Of course I agree. Shouldn't there be a solution?

My point is that there are thousands of opinion about such a propject in Sri Lanka, but in the 'developed' country that I am currently living people are not that 'panditha' like ours. I feel really boring. Why is that?
Edited By - Vishnu - 7 Feb 2007 02:02:48 GMT
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7 Feb 2007 03:19:07 GMT  Report for Abuse   
Yeah no need to worry its just more BS from MR, will never get built, after all hard to build and airport when all the funds are in the Rajapakse brother's pockets ;)
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7 Feb 2007 03:22:34 GMT  Report for Abuse   
Come on , you dont care for human life , but worried about the birds , give me a break .
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7 Feb 2007 03:56:55 GMT  Report for Abuse   
Just a PR stunt to fool the masses.
there should be proper environmental studies done before such an undertaking is taken on...
Sad MR being a man of that area no knowing the importance of this unique sanctuary.
All environmentalist should get together and fight this
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7 Feb 2007 05:09:58 GMT  Report for Abuse   
Did they got the environment clearance when they built the airport at Iranamadu??

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7 Feb 2007 11:43:30 GMT  Report for Abuse   
Major projects such as this airport always put their positive or negative finger prints on environment and near communities, these things are unavoidable, but to stop building is also unacceptable.



Couple of weeks back I had this dream of functioning Hambanthota AirPort and first carrier landing. Here are the pictures.

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7 Feb 2007 12:04:54 GMT  Report for Abuse   
This is a project not properly thought of,just a white elephant,at the expense of the taxpayer.If they ever need a 2nd airport,it should be accessible to all in the country,just not for tourists.For tourists Kogggala or Ratmalana should be expanded.What ever the government do,does make sense,perhaps economic sense.
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8 Feb 2007 01:31:47 GMT  Report for Abuse   
Yes, I remember Wellawaya airport. It was during an election campaign. There was a cartoon; a man and a woman talking to each other in front of ATHU PALA: 'Onna hamine apitath lesiyanme rata yanna puluwan dan'. Funny isn't it?

Our problem is that we easily forget things. Those who know this very well, can make something out of it.

Still I wish that infrastructure of the country is developed, including new air ports, roads, ports, railway etc. There should not be a debate about it. In the mean time we have to think of the ways to deal with the impact on the environment. That's what the experts are for.

Where are the experts?

ooops! they've gone overseas. hell...
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8 Feb 2007 05:20:06 GMT  Report for Abuse   
Perhaps we need a second international airport, as Capricon mentioned earlier, to divert A/C during emergencies such as 23rd July 2001. Other countries need due to FOG etc. With a domestic transfer to Ratmalana etc, it could serve the International passengers.
At present, they are either diverted to Trichy/Trivendran!

Since there is not going to be heavy traffic, how it would be viable would be by having Ancillary services such as 'Aircraft Maintenance Bays etc, in the line of 'GAMCO' in Dubai, where most of the Technical Crew are Ex Sri Lankan Air Force or Air Lanka Engineers/Technicians.
Market is massive, looking at the region alone!

I also feel Wellawaya would better suit looking at the environmental aspects!
After all Bundala etc are little nature reserves we have where we can ill afford to lose!
It brings me fond memories of my early days during training exercises & also being stationed there
later on almost three decades ago!
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