A 130-km protrusion of land on Sri Lanka’s north-western coast has received a fair amount of local and international press in the past few months. Mannar Island, connected to the mainland by a causeway, has been identified as a rich source of the mineral ilmenite, which the Perth-based Australian company, Titanium Sands Ltd., hopes to mine. Mannar Island also happens to be pristine land within the Central Asian Flyway, making it a popular pitstop for migratory birds and bird watchers alike. It is also home to a unique ecosystem that environmentalists fear would be destroyed if mining permits are granted.
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