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Who are the “real war criminals”?

According to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, it’s all those that are “contributing to the rise in global warming”.

In a speech at Kandy, Rajapaksa singled out the United States, stating,

“All plants and animal species could be wiped out by global warming. Considering it, the real war criminals and human rights violators are such countries, which are contributing to the rise in global warming. The western nations became the violators of these rules.”

Ironically, the President’s statement comes as the Sri Lankan government’s environmental record comes under scrutiny, along with its long history of human rights violations.

The government is planning to build a Chinese funded road through Wilpattu national park, a former LTTE stronghold, a move that environmentalists say will damage much of the plant and animal life in the park.

Speaking to the Guardian, Vimukthi Weeratunga from Environmental Foundation Limited said,

"If the road goes ahead it will damage many fragile habitats and lead to road kills of species like leopards. Then the coastal strip will be developed for mass tourism.

The road wouldn't pass the Asia Development Bank or the World Bank environmental assessments, so the government have turned to the Chinese for funding. It's ironic that the Tamil Tigers didn't damage the park but our own government is after all our struggles for peace."

Sri Lanka has also been charged with seriously damaging the environment in the North through the excavation of sand in Vadamaraadchi, with an environmentalist who was compiling evidence on the issue having been killed.

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