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Sri Lanka: Irrigation Ordinance to Be Amended

(Jan. 19, 2011) It was reported on January 13, 2011, that Nimal Siripala de Silva, Sri Lanka's Minister of Irrigation and Water Management, has announced that the country's 64-year-old Irrigation Ordinance will soon be revised. A committee is currently considering what changes are needed in the law, which has never had a major amendment. Thus far attention has been paid by the committee to the issues of the safety of irrigation systems, protection of catchment areas, removal of people squatting in those catchment areas, and water pollution prevention. Public consultation will be sought on the proposed amendments, and the goal is to bring the new version of the law to the Parliament in the first quarter of this year. (Sri Lanka to Amend Irrigation Ordinance, COLOMBOPAGE (Jan. 13, 2011),

The issue of water control is particularly important at present, as Sri Lanka is experiencing extensive flooding, with 325,000 people forced out of their homes and more than 20% of the rice crop lost. (Shihar Aneez & Ranga Sirilal, Sri Lanka Flood Death Toll Rises to 23, Crop Risk Grows, REUTERS (Jan. 13, 2011),