The Hambantota area is contiguous to Kumana, Yala and Udawalawe parks and offers critical habitat during dry season. This senseless development and the new dam at Moragahakanda are by far the biggest obstacles to elephants' survival. Hundreds of elephants are now homeless in Hambantota and are in daily conflict with locals. Locals recently took over the harbor, by blocking a Japanese freighter from leaving - all in protest to the China sale. The Sri Lankan Navy responded, as civil unrest prevailed. This civil unrest was predicted by former president Rajapaksa, who lives near here and who had himself initiated the failed airport and harbor developments while serving as president.
Hambantota, South Sri Lanka
400 elephants have been displaced by the new "Industrial Zone" development of Hambantota. This represents over 10% of the entire population of Sri Lanka's elephants. The Chinese are reshaping south Sri Lanka to their own likeness. China's legacy of pollution and overcrowding must stop at their own border and not be exported; their own animal species are depleted as they literally consume anything that walks, crawls or grows. Sri Lankan culture has never been this way - strangely so too, as while they are both are rooted in Buddhism, China sold its soul many decades ago as took the authoritarian, anthiestic path. We must help Sri Lanka maintain its identity and soul. We must stop the politicians and businessmen from selling out. In fact, in late 2016 locals rioted and blockaded ships coming into the new port. The government sent troops - this doesn't bode well for Sri Lankas future, but the locals are on-board with SavingGanesh's intentions, as we are with theirs.
The 400 homeless elephants need our help. The "Environmental Impact Statement" that was originally tied to the huge developments of Hambantota included a mitigation plan for elephant's lost habitat. Nothing has been done! The elephants are wandering around with no real 'home.' Human/elephant conflict is unbearable for the locals - SavingGanesh.org has been monitoring the situation for many years and produced several videos about this issue.
The hand of corruption oozes all over these huge developments that were built in the rural hometown of former president Rajapaksa. It includes the country's second international airport (used by a handful of passengers per day), a huge cricket stadium (used only a couple times in 5 years), a new marina (also lightly used) and other monstrosities. Now 15,000 hectares of Hambantota are to be developed as an industrial zone.
The Sri Lankan government has a near perfect historical record of failing to honor environmental mitigation plans for its mega-projects. Moragahakanda Dam is yet another one - the dam's gates closed this year - the country's second largest reservoir. It also included mitigation plans, like restoring jungle tanks for wildlife - but nothing has been done. The dam was the current president Sirisena's pet project (from when he was irrigation minister and more), so he has full responsibility for wildlife loss in central Sri Lanka, like how Rajapaksa is to blame for Hambantota's dire situation. Administrations may change, but the ground game doesn't.