Sinharaja elephant relocation operation called off

Sinharaja elephant relocation operation called off

Written by Staff Writer

17 Jun, 2018 | 9:35 pm

Colombo (News1st) –  Subject Minister Sarath Fonseka stated that the decision to call off the operations to relocate the elephants had been made upon the instructions of the President. The operation was initiated on the 15th of this month targeting the Kalawana, Rajawatte and Kopi-kella areas bordering the Sinharaja rainforest.

The minister stated that according to a telephone discussion he had with the president, he had asked details about the ongoing operation, and had informed the Minister that if the elephants were relocated to Horowpothana that it would be a major problem. To which Fonseka had said that if the relocation was not done that no one would be held accountable for the lives of these animals. But the President had informed him to allow the two elephants to remain there until proper premises is allocated within Sinharaja.

Minister Fonseka further said that he will not be held accountable for the two elephants or for the lives of the villagers adding that everyone who shouted against the relocation of the elephants must take this responsibility.

The Assistant Director of Wildlife in Charge of the Southern and Uva Provinces, Prashantha Wimaladasa noted that steps are being taken to identify a protected area for the two elephants. He added that there are several villages around the area that face difficulties due to the elephants and as a result, he had been instructed to place teams of wildlife officers in areas to control the situation.

Meanwhile, a group from the Environment and Nature Studies Centre staged a protest in Rambuka, Pothupitiya in Kalawana this morning, demanding that the relocation of the elephants be stopped.

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