Businessman and Bulldozer operator remanded for clearing protected wetlands

Businessman and Bulldozer operator remanded for clearing protected wetlands

Businessman and Bulldozer operator remanded for clearing protected wetlands

Written by Staff Writer

29 Aug, 2020 | 3:03 pm

A Shrimp businessman & bulldozer operator suspected of destroying a section of the Anawilundawa Ramsar wetlands were remanded until 04th September, said Sri Lanka Police.

A 35-year-old shrimp businessman was arrested from Udappuwa for his suspected involvement in bulldozing an area of the Anawilundawa Ramsar Wetlands, Sri Lanka Police said on Saturday (Aug 29).

The bulldozer operator was arrested on Friday (28).

At least an acre of a Ramsar wetland in Anawilundawa, which is under the purview of the Department of Wildlife Conservation, has been cleared by an unidentified group for shrimp farming; amidst moves undertaken to restore the mangroves in the area.

“The Government and the Subject Minister are of the view, that strict legal action should be instituted against those responsible for this act; wildlife officials have already presented facts in court regarding the incident and Sri Lanka Police also assisted in conducting investigations,” Bandula Harischandra, the Secretary to the Ministry of Wildlife and Forest Conservation said on Saturday (Aug 29).

The investigations into the illegal clearance of the wetland were being carried out by a special unit of the Department of Wildlife Conservation.

He further noted that restoration of mangroves in the destroyed region will be carried out immediately.

According to Director-General of Wildlife Chandana Sooriyabandara, the wetland had been cleared using machines and other equipment in the absence of wildlife officers on the night of 25th August.

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