Written by Staff Writer
15 Mar, 2021 | 7:52 pm
Colombo (News 1st); “I was not influenced by anyone to comment on the destruction caused to the environment in Sinharaja,” said Bhagya Abeyratne, the contestant who appeared on Sirasa TV’s Lakshapathi program, the Sri Lankan version of ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’, on Monday (15).
“I only revealed of what happens before my very own eyes, that I see daily,” she told in a statement to the media after she was questioned by two police officers over her comments on the Lakshapathi program.
She also went on to note that her neighbors are being questioned extensively about her family adding her family members are not involved in any form of environmental destruction.
Police Spokesperson DIG Ajith Rohana speaking to News 1st said investigations are being carried out by the Senior Superintendent of Police for Ratnapura.
Also, measures have been taken to investigate information circulating on social media concerning deforestation and environmental destruction, he said.
On Monday (15), the Central Environmental Authority admitted that a cabinet decision was taken to take over the land in question and place it under the Sinharaja Forest Reserve.
The CEA said the decision made in 2004 is currently stalled at the regional level.
Responding to questions posed by News 1st, Chairman of the Central Environmental Authority Siripala Amarasinghe said the discussions on taking over the land are in the final stages.
The 16-year delay in taking over these lands should be asked from the Cabinet of Minister, he added.
He said government institutions should be held responsible for the destruction caused to the environment adding if the land take-over process was expedited in 2004, such events would never have taken place.
He further said no Environment Impact Assessment report was obtained with respect to the land in question, as the law states if more than a hectare of land is being cleared in such an area, an EIA is mandatory.
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