Tuesday, 12 May 2015 - 8:10
Executive power to protect forest resources - President
President Maitripala Sirisena said that maximum executive power would be used for protecting the remaining forest resources.
The President said so while participating at a seminar the Sri Lanka Law College Students’ Union had organized in Colombo yesterday.
A decision of this significance is being implemented at a moment when a wide concern has been created in society about the destruction taking place in the Wilpattu forest after the disclosure made by Hiru C.I.A.
The report about the destruction taking place in the Wilpattu Northern boundary and Mannar Periyamadu under the pretext of resettlement was handed over to the President yesterday.
That was by Mahaweli Development and Environment Ministry Secretary Nihal Rupasinghe.
The report also has recommended the appointment of a committee for probing the alleged forest related irregularities.
The research report handed over yesterday also contains proposals such as transposing those settled in the vicinity of the Elephant Pass and determining boundaries for preventing expansion of Wilpattu forest related settlements.
Through Hiru C.I. A. we disclosed on several days the way reserved zone in the Wilpattu Reservation had been destroyed under the pretext of resettlement by a Minister hailing from Mannar with the unreserved support and assistance of powerful persons of the previous government.
During our disclosures we also talked about the elephant - human clash that could crop up in the future as a result of the destruction of the Wilpattu forest.
Our disclosure triggered a huge uproar on social media web-sites and in the country’s society.
Thereupon the JVP activists visited Wilpattu last Saturday for probing the matter.
However a media briefing was convened last afternoon with regard to the submitted research report and situation that had cropped up at the Wilpattu forest reserve.
That was with the participation of Mahaweli Development and Environment Ministry Secretary Nihal Rupasinghe, Wildlife Director General H. D. Ratnayake, Forest Conservation Department Director Anura Haturusinghe, Mannar District Secretary N. Y. S. Deshapriya and several officials.
President Maitripala Sirisena also said that the country’s environment had been severely harmed as a result of large scale development projects that had been launched during the last decade without any environmental studies.