The Muthurajawela wetlands in Sri Lanka are under threat from irresponsible garbage dumping, according to Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith. (Photo supplied)
Sri Lanka's Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith has criticized authorities in Colombo and surrounding areas for dumping garbage — including what he says are human remains — in the Muthurajawela wetlands, an area known for its outstanding beauty.
The wetlands, which lie north of the capital, support a myriad species of flora, fauna and birds.
In an open letter issued on June 30, the cardinal said the dumping of waste is being conducted in a haphazard manner and includes human body parts discarded from hospitals and mortuaries.
"The waterways have started to experience severe pollution which will seep into the Negombo lagoon causing immense harm to the environment. It will also destroy fishing resources in the lagoon," Cardinal Ranjith said.
Negombo lagoon, which also lies a short distance north of Colombo, supports a fishing industry that thousands of people rely on.
Following the cardinal's letter, environmentalists began blocking garbage trucks heading to the wetland on July 1, leading to a tense stand-off between them and the drivers.
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