Committee probing illegal clearance of Ramsar wetland, begins field observations

Committee probing illegal clearance of Ramsar wetland, begins field observations

Committee probing illegal clearance of Ramsar wetland, begins field observations

Written by Pavani Hapuarachchi

30 Aug, 2020 | 8:19 am

COLOMBO (News 1st): The committee appointed to probe the illegal bulldozing of the Ramsar wetland in Anawilundawa Sanctuary in Puttalam, has commenced field observations in the area, forest conservation officials said.

The committee was appointed by Subject Minister – C.B. Ratnayake, yesterday (Aug 29), Bandula Harischandra, the Secretary to the Ministry of Wildlife and Forest Conservation said on Sunday (Aug 30).

“In its final report, the committee will submit recommendations on future measures to be followed in order to prevent the recurrence of such incidents,” Bandula Harischandra who is also the Chairman of the Committee told News 1st.

Minister C.B. Ratnayake has instructed the committee to submit its report within two weeks.

“Regardless of the rank of those responsible for this act, I will take relevant measures to fulfill my responsibility of conserving the wetlands in the island,” the Minister emphasized.

Meanwhile, Minister of Environment, Mahinda Amaraweera also said that a report has been called regarding the illegal bulldozing of a part of the Anawilundawa Ramsar Wetland Sanctuary.

Further action over the incident will be taken once the report is received, the Minister noted.

Minister Amaraweera also emphasized that those responsible for this crime will be punished regardless of their rank in society adding the President also issued relevant instructions in this regard.

In other developments on the clearance of Ramsar wetland…

The two suspects arrested for illegally bulldozing a part of the Ramsar wetland in Anawilundawa Sanctuary in Puttalam were remanded till the 4th of September.

The order was issued after the suspects were produced at the Chilaw Magistrate’s Court, on Saturday (Aug 29).

The two remanded suspects are 35-year-old shrimp businessman in the area, and the bulldozer operator suspected of destroying a section of the wetland.

The shrimp businessman was arrested yesterday (Aug 29) in Udappuwa, while the bulldozer operator was arrested on Friday (Aug 28).

The Department of Forest Conservation has already commenced restoration of the destroyed area.

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