Caritas Sri Lanka-SEDEC and Caritas Sethsarana received a tremendous boost for its beach cleanup campaign as Presidential Secretariat declared their fullest cooperation at a meeting held on 21st August, 2018. The meeting was chaired by the Assistant Secretary of the Presidential Secretariat, Mr. Rohan Abhayaratna.

Caritas Sri Lanka-SEDEC was represented by its National Director, Rev. Fr. Mahendra Gunatilleke and two other representatives. Rev. Fr. Lawrence Ramanayake attended on behalf of Caritas ‘Sethsarana’.

There were representatives from Marine Environment Protection Authority, Central Environment Authority, Department of Coast Conservation, Divisional Secretariats of Wattala, Katana and Negombo, Negombo Municipal Council, Wattala-Mabloa Urban Council, Ja-Ela Town Council, Ja-Ela and Wattala Pradeshiya Sabhas. Rev. Fr. Mahendra Gunatilleke outlined the objectives of the project which is based on Pope Francis’ theme of ‘God’s Love for All – Caring for Our Common Home’. The Additional Secretary said that they will fully support this worthy project and he is elated that SEDEC has taken an environmental-friendly initiative as this is the first time in Sri Lanka that a coastal belt of 20km will be cleaned within 4 hours. It is understood that Sri Lanka has a coastal belt of 1670km and SEDEC is proud to be involved in clearing up 1.8% portion in this cleanup campaign.

Meticulously planned project will be held on 30th September, 2018 starting at 8.00am and ending at 12.00 noon. His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith and Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim religious leaders are expected to grace the opening ceremony. Caritas Sri Lanka-SEDEC and Caritas Sethsarana are throwing an open invitation to all nature-lovers and people living along the beach stretch from Poruthota to Palliyawatta to join in. At the moment, around 1500 people have shown their willingness to participate in the campaign. A pilot beach cleanup campaign is also planned on 02nd September, 2018 to cover 2km of beach stretch from Maha Oya estuary to the fish market in Poruthota.