Walsapugala farmers meet PM; warn of fast unto death campaign by 23rd Feb.

Walsapugala farmers meet PM; warn of fast unto death campaign by 23rd Feb.

Walsapugala farmers meet PM; warn of fast unto death campaign by 23rd Feb.

Written by Zulfick Farzan

22 Feb, 2021 | 1:26 pm

Colombo (News 1st); Farmers from Walsapugala have threatened to launch a fast unto death campaign once again on the 23rd of February, if their demand for the Proposed Wild Elephant Management Reserve in Hambantota, to be included in the government gazette, is not met.

On Monday (22), several farmers who are currently staging a satyagraha campaign over the matter wet with Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa in Colombo.

Mahinda Samarawickrama, a union representative said the issue was forwarded to the Prime Minister in writing and an officer was instructed to direct the letter to the Minister of Wildlife.

The issue was not resolved, he said.

Leader of the Janasetha Peramuna, Venerable Battaramulle Seelarathana Thero who accompanied the group said the campaign is not based on jobs or food, but for the protection of wild elephants in the country.

While meetings took place in Colombo, for the 36th day the Sathyagraha Campaign by farmers continued over in Walsapugala.

However, Irrigation Minister Chamal Rajapaksa told reporters wild elephants would encroach into villages when constructions are done across an elephant pass.

There will be development in Walsapugala, said the Minister adding the proposal will be presented to the Cabinet of Ministers and then to the Attorney General’s Department.

‘It is impossible for the gazette to be published by the 23rd of February,’ said the Minister.

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