Building a solidarity movement to take the Gommunna issue towards victory



450 families that belong to 12 villages in Ikiriwatte and Haparagoda grama niladari divisions have been adversely affected by mass scale granite and excavation and removal of trees By William Woodly Private Limited in a 225 acre land at Gommunnakanda situated in Ridigama and Mawathagama divisional secretariat areas in Kurunegala district.

These families have lost access to water for drinking and irrigation. These villagers used to farm about 280 acres of paddy using water from 10 streams which originates from Gommunnakanda, which is also the first catchment area of Deduru Oya. They also cultivated cinnamon, cloves, pepper, coffee and cocoa, which have also been adversely affected as the water sources have dried up due to mass scale granite and excavation and removal of trees. There is also a threat of landslides.

Villagers who have been affected have established an environmental organization named 'Gamata hetak ( a future for the village)' and are attempting to take legal action against the environmental destruction. They have also organized protests and North Western Province Peoples Collective, affiliated to MONLAR, also joined hands with this organization. A special meeting was held with the participation of representatives from North Western Province Peoples Collective at Human Rights and Community Development Center, Ridigama, to lay down the foundation for a broad peoples movement. This was also attended by representatives from Gamata hetak organization. A plan on how to combat the ecological and social damage caused by this project was agreed on during this meeting..
Steps that should be taken to build confidence of the affected people, to strengthen the judicial action and how to bring the attention of the wider society on this matter was also discussed during this meeting.