The hill country of Sri Lanka is a world renowned biodiversity hotspot. Many areas in the region including the Knuckles Conservation Forest and Peak Wilderness are world heritage sites and home to thousands of species. One of those is humans. This is a fact that is quickly, easily and conveniently forgotten by those who choose to protect those areas without heed to the hundreds of thousands of people who lived for centuries in these areas in harmonic coexistence with their environment. Roman Dutch Law, created in part to grab the lands used by these peoples have resulted in one of the most heinous crimes to have been committed by colonialists in Sri Lanka that has never ever been either noticed or acknowledged. The post-colonial era saw political leaders and business people continuing with the same agenda but now, for their advantage and at great Indigenous People and Local Communities (IPLCs). They lost their shared commons resulting in impoverishment, they lost their voice due to the natural fracturing of these communities that occurred because their ways of life were taken away from them, they lost the integration, cohesion and sense of community that emboldened them and strengthened them and instead, they were given linear rights by an iffy system that were unusable because the base conditions for their successful engagement were not present. The SAFER (Strengthening Activism for Environmental Rights) project aims to redress many of these issues in the areas in and around the Knuckles Conservation Forest (KCF) and the Victoria-Randenigala-Rantambe (VRR) sanctuary.

The Randenigala dam:  Part of the "Damnation of a nation?"

The Randenigala dam: Part of the “Damnation of a nation?”

A river runs dry!

A river runs dry!


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