A group of persons affiliated to government politicians have commenced illegal gem mining near the Thalduwa Bridge. Local government politicians and two coordinating secretaries to ministers are also involved in the racket.
Various groups have been engaged in gem mining in the Seethavaka River in the Thalduwa area on the Avissawella-Kegalle Road in the past few months.
When news of a gem pit in the area had reached the local government politicians two of them had tried to start gem mining in the area, but the people had protested against it.
The politicians had then sought a court order to prevent gem mining in the area. The Avisswella Court had issued an order on March 20th to stop gem mining near the Thalduwa Bridge. The two politicians had used the court order to prevent people from mining near the bridge and they have then got together with two ministerial coordinating secretaries and started secret gem mining in the area at night.
The two ministerial coordinating secretaries who are involved in this illegal hem mining are affiliated to two senior politicians in Sabaragamuwa.
People from the area say that these groups used diving kits and high powered lights for gem mining in the river.
This are is also reserve under the Archeology Department.