Rathana Thera – Champika strife heightens
The strife between Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera and minister Champika Ranawaka over the ‘Vasa Visa Nethi Ratak’ project has even reached the Cabinet of ministers, political sources say.
The ‘Vasa Visa Nethi Ratak’ project, which is overseen by the President Maithripala Sirisena, aims at making a gradual turn around from the use of imported agrochemicals, to locally produced organic and bio fertilizers for farming.
The strife had sparked after minister Champika had tabled a proposal on a type of hybrid fertilizer before the Cabinet. The same project proposal was earlier tabled under the ‘Pilisaru’ project, when Ranawaka was functioning as the Environment minister.
The project aims at producing this ‘hybrid fertilizer’ by adding a portion of chemicals to compost, as producing standardised compost had failed so far.
However, the proposal has been severely criticised by Ven. Rathana Thera, who is adamant that they should be completely free from agrochemical usage when implementing the ‘Vasa Visa Nethi Ratak’ project.
Tensions at seminar
Meanwhile, during a recent seminar on the Kidney Disease held by the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation and WHO, at the BMICH, an opinion was aired that agrochemical use is not a major reason for the disease.
The Corporation falls under the ministry of Megapolis and Western Development headed by minister Champika Ranawaka.
They had proposed that the Kidney disease can be addressed by introducing a water supply for the public, which undergoes a purification process run under the RO system.
Citing the WHO study report on Kidney disease in the North and East regions in 2013, which had concluded that Arsenic released to the soil from agrochemicals was a reason for the disease, Ven. Rathana Thera had questioned why that conclusion had changed now.
Source – Sri Lanka Mirror