Chinese banks have approved the funding of freeways in Sri Lanka from Kandy to Jaffna in the North and in the Southern part of Sri Lanka. These freeways will sever elephant corridors that allow migration between the remaining pockets of forest habitat. The freeways will also cause an increase in collisions between vehicles and elephants. These freeways are being built on a small island with little need for freeways.
These freeways are essentially being built for the Chinese military. The Chinese have already funded an international airport and port in Matalla and Hambantota, in Southern Sri Lanka at a heavy cost to the environment. The airport at Mattala gets little use and is essentially being built for Chinese military use. This airport was built in the middle of an Elephant and bird reserve and now the birds and elephants are being denied water in order to chase them away. The Southern freeway is being built to link the port and the Northern freeway to the airport.
Please urge the Sri Lankan and Chinese governments to consider the welfare of the Sri Lankan elephant and elevate parts of the freeways to allow continued elephant migration.
His Excellency The President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa.
We the undersigned respectfully request the Goverment of Sri Lanka plan the new expressways around elephant habitat and in the case of the Kandy-Jaffna expressway that will cut through elephant habitat and block east-west movement of elephants, we the undersigned request that elephant underpasses be incorporated into the expressway at regular intervals to allow the uninterupted movement of elephants to prevent genetic isolation, and improve the safety of motorists by preventing collisions with elephants.
Concerned Citizens of Sri Lanka and the World.