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GSMB calls for inquiry into environmental damage in Kumbukkan Oya

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Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera instructed the GSMB Director General to immediately inform the Security Forces and begin an investigation into the massive environmental damage being carried out in Kumbukkan Oya under the guise of gem mining, a press release by the Ministry stated.

“Accordingly, GSMB Director General Sajjana de Silva wrote to the Moneragala DIG and the Commanding Officer of the Special Task Force requesting an immediate inquiry into the matter. Kumbukkan Oya sand mining permits have been issued only to four persons. However, it has been reported that gem mining is being carried out in the vicinity of the Kumbukkan Oya in violation of the licenses and their conditions.

A letter has also been sent to the Gem and Jewellery Authority Director General requesting that steps be taken to stop the environmental destruction being carried out in the vicinity of Kumbukkan Oya under the guise of gem mining,” the release added.

Meanwhile, Minister Amaraweera instructed the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) Director General to look into the possibility of obtaining a recommendation from the CEA when the Gem and Jewellery Authority issues permits for gem mining, especially near rivers and streams.

The GSMB took this step after the revelations made by journalists on the large scale environmental damage taking place in Kumbukkan Oya.

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