Written by Staff Writer
21 Feb, 2020 | 8:11 pm
Colombo (News 1st) – The government and the opposition on Thursday (Feb 20) revealed in Parliament some serious cases of environmental destruction
UNP MP Ajith Mannaperuma revealed that politicians are acting against state officials who are attempting to crack down on illegal sand miners on the Deduru oya. He also revealed that 7 persons who were arrested by officials in the Wewala reserve as they were constructing an illegal road, were freed by two politicians from the ruling party.
Mannaperuma also revealed that state officials were forced to release suspects arrested for the possession of satinwood which had been felled illegally. Wildlife officials who attempted to evict illegal settlers in the Bereliya reserve in Elpitiya have now been forced to reissue a gazette declaring that the reserve in a smaller area, according to the MP.
“..We saw how politicians spoke to the Gampaha District officer Devani Jayathilaka the other day. Now the District Officer has been threatened and moves are afoot to transfer her. When we ask why 200 acres of forest land was cleared in the Orugalayaya reserve in Anuradhapura, they say that it had been done to prevent wild elephants from encroaching the village. This government is not installing fences to prevent the encroachment of elephants. They are destroying forests to eliminate elephants..” – Ajith Mannaperuma
State Min. of Small & Medium Enterprise Development Susantha Punchinilame also speaking in Parliament yesterday noted that his district of Trincomalee is the second-largest producer of Sand next to Polonnaruwa. The minister noted that the permits issued to excavate sane have increased from 161 last year to over 5000. He noted that if everyone begins to excavate sand, the road network in the district would be destroyed. He accused officials of not allowing to mine for sand in reserves in the south of the country and instead issuing permits to exploit areas such as his district.
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