Written by Zulfick Farzan
10 Mar, 2021 | 1:39 pm
Colombo (News 1st); Farmers in Walsapugala, Hambantota who are staging a satyagraha campaign demanding the Proposed Wild Elephant Management Reserve in Hambantota be included in the government gazette, commenced a protest.
The protest is taking place along the Colombo – Kataragma Main Road and obstructed the movement of traffic from the Ambalantota town.
News 1st correspondent at the location, Roshan Rajika said heavy traffic congestion is reported from the Ambalantota town to the Hambantota Port access road.
For the 53rd consecutive day, farmers in Walsapugala are engaged in a Satyagraha campaign demanding the Proposed Wild Elephant Management Reserve in Hambantota be included in the government gazette.
In addition, it’s been three days since several farmers re-launched a fast unto death campaign on the same grounds.
86 agrarian organizations are supporting the satyagraha campaign which was launched on the 18th of January 2021 demanding the Proposed Wild Elephant Management Reserve in Hambantota be included in the government gazette.
Earlier, the leader of the movement commenced a fast unto death campaign and it was called off after Minister Chamal Rajapaksa promised to meet their demand on the 23rd of January.
However, as the issue remained unsolved, Walsapugala farmers re-commenced their fast unto death campaign on the 07th of March.
On Tuesday (09) the Former District Medical Officer of the Sooriyawewa Regional Hospital visited the site and inspected the health condition of the leader of the agrarian movement and two women who are engaged in the fast unto death campaign.
The trio engaged in the fast unto death campaign refused to be admitted to the hospital until their demand for the Proposed Wild Elephant Management Reserve in Hambantota is included in the government gazette, is met.
All business establishments in Sooriyawewa, Hambantota were closed today to support the campaign by the Walsapugala Farmers, and almost all locals raised black flags in the area.
In late February, the Cabinet of Ministers granted their consent for the combined resolution to publish the government gazette for the proposed Wild Elephant Management Reserve in Hambantota.
However, the farmers continue to be engaged in the Satyagraha Campaign until the gazette is published by the government printer.
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