Written by Staff Writer
10 May, 2015 | 10:14 pm
The compiling of a final report on the clearing of forest land in Wilpattu was carried out on Sunday (May 10th).
The Ministry of Environment Ministry took this step following order issued by the President on Saturday. The report is to be presented to the President on Monday.
Footage which News1st received at around 5 o’clock on Saturday evening bears testament to the fact that bulldozers are being used to clear away large trees in a region bordering the Wilpattu national park.
While the clearing of the sanctuary in the Wilpattu national park has taken place intermittently since 2010, yesterday marked the first instance where orders had been issued for the immediate cessation of this activity.
Action was taken when the matter captured the attention of President Maithripala Sirisena. Villagers say that politicians are behind the destruction that has befallen the precious Willpattu national reserve.
While touring the surroundings of the Wilpattu sanctuary on Saturday, we were able to identify homes that had been built in cleared areas and people living in these homes. However, it was reported on Sunday that the homes are now uninhabited. We also witnessed the manner in which signs prohibiting construction and settlement within the sanctuary, had been torn down.
Officials of the Environment Ministry and our reporters who traveled to the location faced an unexpected delay when returning with the footage on Saturday evening as they were caught up in the midst of a herd of wild elephants.
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