Minister Rishad Bathiudeen challenged a statement made by the Chief Secretary of National Sanga Council, Rev. Ananda Sagara Thero over deforestation and destruction caused to Wilpattu Sanctuary by Minister Bathiudeen.
Both parties have requested an opportunity for a public TV debate and expressed their willingness to take part in a Public TV debate in Hiru TV.
Today’s (28th December) “Salakuna” TV programme at 10.00 pm is therefore dedicated for the public debate of Rev. Ananda Sagara Thero and Minister Bathiudeen.
Rev. Ananda Sagara Thero, National Sanga Council and Environmentalists protested in Colombo on 19th December calling to end deforestation in Wilpattu for resettlement. Rev. Ananda Sagara Thero accused Minister at this protest, claiming he is a direct party of the destruction of Wilpattu sanctuary and drug trafficking in the country.
Minister made a complaint at the Cinnamon Garden Police Station regarding this and claimed a Rs. 100 million compensation from the Thero for spoiling his political profile.
Answering Rev. Ananda Sagara Thero’s allegation on 23rd December at a press conference, Minister Bathiudeen further stated that he will retire from his political career if the Thero could prove the allegations true.
Rev.Ananda Sagara Thero has responded by stating that he is prepared to pay Rs100 million compensation under certain conditions such as stopping deforesting and destructing Wilpattu and ending drug trafficking.