Saving our Heritage
Tanks of the dry zone of Sri Lanka are at the heart of its ancient hydrological civilization. These tanks are part of the agricultural, cultural, historical, archaeological and social heritage of the Country. The ancient Kings contributed towards the development of an intricate network of tanks in the dry zone of Sri Lanka, mainly for the purposes of irrigation. Even today, they store and supply water for the agriculture and for a large number of other uses. At present most of the remaining tanks of the dry zone of Sri Lanka (including the NCP), face numerous threats due to human activities. In a bid to protect the tanks of Sri Lanka PILF has filed a public interest case to compel the relevant Government agencies to enforce the laws related to the protection of tanks. The case focuses on a selected tank in Anuradhapura.
The Sinharaja rainforest located in the South- West of Sri Lanka has earned the highest protection status under the Sri Lankan laws on forests. It is declared as a ‘National Heritage and Wilderness Area’ under the law. It was inscribed on the world heritage list of UNESCO justified on the basis of it being ‘the last remaining relatively undisturbed remnant of tropical humid evergreen forest in Sri Lanka’. Human activities that vary from encroachments to implementation of development projects add tremendous pressure on the Sinharaja rainforest. Presently, PILF has filed a writ application in the Court of Appeal to protect this rainforest from development activity which has a negative impact on it.