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Sri Lanka: Power Stations

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 5th November 2019.

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Photo of Tom Brake Tom Brake Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Duchy of Lancaster)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 30 April 2019 to Question 245704 on Sri Lanka: Power Stations, what progress has been made by the Sri Lankan Government on providing compensation to residents; and what assessment he has made of the (a) sufficiency and (b) effect on residents of that compensation.

Photo of Tom Brake Tom Brake Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Duchy of Lancaster)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the water pollution in Northern Sri Lanka caused by the Chunnakam power plant, what steps his Department has taken to help secure an independent international investigation into the (a) effects and (b) impact of that water pollution on the community resident in that area.

Photo of Heather Wheeler Heather Wheeler The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

We are aware of the challenges Sri Lanka faces around water management and quality. Staff at the British High Commission in Colombo raise the issue of water quality in northern Sri Lanka regularly, including during a recent visit to Jaffna in August.

We understand that compensation has been offered to those affected by water pollution caused by the Chunnakam Power plant. We hope that the settlement will be adequate compensation for the victims of contamination, and that measures are taken to ensure clean water.

A number of public bodies in Sri Lanka including the national water supply and drainage board have conducted tests and further investigations into the contamination are ongoing.

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