Written by Zulfick Farzan
27 Nov, 2020 | 3:27 pm
Colombo (News 1st); Wildlife Officers attached to 08 separate trade unions launched a token strike on Friday (27) against the conduct of State Minister of Wildlife Wimalaweera Dissanayake and with an aim of protecting the environment.
Prabath Karunathilake, the Head of one of these Trade Unions speaking to News 1st said the decision was made as the State Minister was instructing wildlife officers to violate the law and destroy the environment.
He said as the wildlife officers stood their ground against the State Minister’s arbitrary directions, the wildlife officers decided to go on strike in a bid to raise awareness on the destruction caused to the environment.
On Wednesday, State Minister Wimalaweera Dissanayake visited the Veheragodayaya area in Polonnaruwa for an inspection where locals made a request from the State Minister to return lands taken over for the Polonnaruwa Floodplain.
The locals further requested for permission to be granted for cattle to graze inside the Polonnaruwa Floodplain and the Somawathiya National Park.
However, a heated argument broke out between the Wildlife Officers and the State Minister when the latter issued a directive on the said matter.
Wimalaweera Dissanayake told the wildlife officers to issue an identification card for the herders to move cattle in the areas in question.
However, Wildlife Officer refused to do so adding the area was designated as a National Park as per a national requirement and noted herders possess illegal weapons.
‘This is a national crime’, said the Wildlife Officers and ignored the melee caused by the State Minister.
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