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* Wildlife Ministry to mediate between Sri Lanka's clashing wildlife officers and aborigines
Wed, Nov 7, 2012, 12:02 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Nov 07, Colombo: Sri Lanka Ministry of Agrarian Services and Wildlife says the government has taken steps to implement a Memorandum of Understanding between the leaders of the indigenous Veddah community and the officials of the Wildlife Department to effectively minimize the conflicts between the two parties.

The MoU will pave the way for the indigenous community to continue engaging in their traditional livelihoods such as fishing and collecting honey. It will also allow them to enter the national forest reserves for their traditional rituals such as hunting as well.

The aborigines and the wildlife officials have clashed frequently in the recent past when the wildlife officials obstruct the Veddah community's traditional practices.

Earlier this year the wildlife officials, in protest over the arrest of three of their officials for fatally shooting a Veddah man in a forest reserve, handed over their firearms to the authorities The Deputy Minister of Agrarian Services and Wildlife S.M. Chandrasena has promised to continue mediation and a discussion was held on November 03 between the two parties.

The Minister said the President had instructed him to mediate to resolve the issue.

** Related Story :: Sri Lanka wildlife officials hand over firearms in protest

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