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The pedagogy of coaching that is dear to the founders of LCEJ invites LCEJ members not to rush to conclusions and not to pretend that they can easily help the local community of Kanniya. LCEJ will be successful in its activities on the condition that it leaves to the local community the initiative to generate solutions to very old and very new conflicts whilst solving the ecological crisis.

 
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The first reason is that Kanniya is a mirror of the ideological tensions that have plagued Sri Lanka since its Independence was declared. Kanniya is a very ancient sacred site where hot wells have been used since antiquity. A famous place for Hindu pilgrims, it is also considered sacred by the local Muslim community. At present, the sacred site is a source of controversy as the Department of Archaeology has declared it a sacred Buddhist place because remnants of a Pagoda are supposed to have been discovered next to the wells. Powerlessness here takes the shape of an impossibility for the rich diversity of religious beliefs, popular traditions, languages, and political systems to become a source of wisdom to bring the best out of the local community.

 
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But the main reason why LCEJ decided to start a project in Kanniya lies, basically, in the establishment there, by the District of Trincomalee, of one of the largest garbage dumps in the District. After international groups published pictures of the site, showing wild animals, including elephants eating plastic and other toxic waste, the dump is now severely guarded and any attempt of taking a picture is sanctioned by the police. No one can enter the site except the dump trucks. Wells are now polluted and the dump is a serious threat to human and animal health. In theory, the Kanniya dump is supposed to be a recycling facility, in reality it is a solid open waste dump growing every day in what used to be the jungle (the precious habitat of wild animals including elephants, monkeys and leopards). The dump has existed since 2005 and has been the object of surveys by international organizations such as Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). This is the deeper level of powerlessness. 

 
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Spiritual Ecology helps LCEJ members to let go the desire to control. Members become aware of how our logical brain functions and why a garbage dump was established in Kanniya. The logical brain of local elites, responding to the alarming increase of toxic waste, ended up fixing goals to overcome the problem, and bulldozed their way towards perfecting them. The unfortunate result is the Kanniya garbage dump and its devastating effects on the local population. By trying to protect a part of the privileged population, logical endeavours ended up by harming those who are powerless. But in the end, toxic waste will harm life itself whether it is powerful or powerless. Spiritual Ecology deepens the awareness that sustaining life is fundamentally without goals or unilateral solutions. Life is co-dependence. Spiritual ecology brings us back to this fundamental property of life, i.e., dependence. At the same instant we affect and we are affected. This is why, when searching for long term solutions, there is a need to listen to the powerless as they will end up being the victims of logical solutions.

 
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In our contemporary societies, it is true that power makes you credible. Our citizens have been trained to put their trust in those who have titles, money and power. Our question in LCEJ is: “why not trust all the aspects of life, including the powerless to develop an awareness about what life is about, and guide our actions?”  
In scientific experiments, the scientists can control the number of variables. This is not possible in real life as all variables matter. This is quite mind boggling and requires techniques of meditation to gain a sense of co-dependence and co-responsibility. 

But the reason why we decided to start a project in Kanniya lies, basically, in the establishment there, by the District of Trincomalee, of one of the largest rubbish dumps in the District. After international groups published pictures of the site showing wild animals, including elephants eating plastic and other toxic waste, the dump is now severely guarded and any attempt of taking a picture is sanctioned by the police. No one can enter in the site except the dump trucks. Wells are now polluted and the dump is a serious threat to human and animal health. In theory, the Kanniya dump is supposed to be a recycling facility, in reality it is a solid open waste dump growing every day in what used to be the jungle (the precious habitat of wild animals including elephants, monkeys and leopards. The dump exists since 2005 and has been the object of surveys by international organizations such as Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

 
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But eco-spirituality is not just about techniques of meditation, it is also about a lifestyle. With the Trincomalee Zero Waste Programme, Kanniya Eco-Credibility Project, and the establishment of the Kanniya Eco-Credibility Centre, LCEJ is trying to develop a know how to give credibility to the powerless, to the minorities, to the marginals and to those who have low incomes. Around the hot wells of Kanniya, can powerless Hindus, Muslims, Christians and Buddhists gather to bring the best out of themselves ?   

No one really knows what is going on in the Kanniya dump site. Is some kind of recycling going on? It is difficult to say. What is certain is that the horrible smell generated by the dump, the pollution of the wells, toxic gases and other toxic chemicals transported by the wind or the rain are affecting the health of the population. So what to do? Those who are powerless can start demonstrations and voice their anger at the lack of regulations concerning the solid waste dumps. They might attract the attention of international organizations that can finance recycling plants. However, most of the time nothing really materializes and the situation worsens.

 
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Why eco-credibility?

Some of you might associate eco-credibility with eco-labels or eco-products. Here, we use the expression in a different way. If villagers in the region of Kanniya use and dump plastic and toxic waste on a regular basis, they do not have much credibility to oppose having a dump yard in their vicinity. The toxic waste has to go somewhere. What LCEJ is proposing is that villagers start to transform their lifestyle to create in their village a zero-plastic zone, then a zero toxic waste zone and finally a zero-waste zone. If a village can achieve that, then that village has the credibility to protest against having a dump yard in their vicinity. They can ask for the Trincomalee Council to work at creating a District that produces no plastic waste and no toxic waste and thus can create safe recycling sites in different parts of the Trincomalee District.

 
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LCEJ, as always, starts with asking the Catholic community to show that it is possible to reduce the usage of plastic and toxic waste in their village. This requires a patient training that will last a few years. LCEJ hopes that other religious groups will follow and that the entire village will cooperate at becoming a zero-waste zone. Fifty years ago, the District of Trincomalee was not producing much toxic waste. We cannot go back to the past, but we can listen to the older generation and be inspired by their wisdom. We can also learn from contemporary science how to be more friendly with the environment. However, the intuition of LCEJ is that the powerless are those who are the most apt at finding concrete solutions, those who are not afraid of improvisation, trial and errors, because they have nothing to lose.

 
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We aim at a new way of life, no less enjoyable than the present, but in a better harmony with the environment and with those who suffer. 

One of the key factor to bring back such harmony with the environment is the creation of the Kanniya Eco-Credibility Centre.