Bitter protests over sugar cane

Protests are growing over a private sugar cane cultivation in Dehigama, Rideemali-yadda, where lands from the Madhuru Oya forest will be allocated. Environmentalists and villagers conducted a religious ritual to protect the trees of the forest. According to their belief the trees cannot be felled after these religious observances are held.

A large number of Buddhist priests visited the Madhuru Oya forest amidst chanting of seth pirith to perform the ritual. The trees were draped with robes and ordained as part of the ritual. More than 62,000 acres are to be allocated for the sugar cane plantation.

Pix and text by Nayanajeewa Bandara

Protesters say sugar cane cultivation will affect water supply

A member of the indigenous clan lights a makeshift lamp affixed to a tree

Young monks prepare to plant saplings

A monk drapes a saffron coloured robe on a tree

The trees in the forest are draped in saffron robes as part of a religious ritual to protect them from being felled

Source – 11/06/2017, The Sunday Times, See more at -http://www.sundaytimes.lk/170611/news/bitter-protests-over-sugar-cane-244794.html