Written by Staff Writer
20 Mar, 2021 | 9:13 am
Colombo (News 1st); “Following the conclusion of the war, it is only I as the Secretary (of Defense) who worked towards protecting the environment in Colombo and suburbs,” said President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Friday (19).
The President went on to note that no other government or environmental organization had taken the necessary steps to protect the environment.
“The wetlands that I protected during the tenure of that government were filled with earth during the tenure of the previous government,” said the President adding the wetlands, rivers, reservoirs are connected to the environment.
The President reprimanded the environmental organization for failing to act.
Further, the President said when he visits the grass-roots politicians he advised them to protect the policies appreciated by those who elected him, rather than working to protect him.
“Come 2025, these policies need to be protected, if not 2015 will repeat. Therefore, is not necessary to protect me. It is my responsibility to protect the religion, community, country, heritage, and culture. That is why I seek advice from the Venerable Theros,” said the President adding his aspiration is that the present policies be protected even after 2025.
The President said those who reprimand him are attempting to do away with the policies that he had brought forward.
“As President, if I do not address the issues posed to me directly by the people, there is no use,” he said.
President Rajapaksa added the use of a certain map to identify lands had resulted in lands used by people for many generations been taken over as forest cover and therefore, the officials were instructed to rectify the issue from a practical and policy-based perspective.
“Misleading opinions are created to sabotage our process,” the President said adding the lands owned by the people were pillaged by the state.
Commenting on uplifting the dairy industry in the country the President said, “If there are no grazing grounds for cattle, how can we increase dairy production? When we locate grazing grounds, some reprimand us for ruining the environment.”
There are even attempts to prevent the Head of State from going to the villages and speaking to the people, said the President.
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