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* Sri Lanka environmentalists request to save Pigeon Island in Trincomalee as a reserve
Sat, Dec 15, 2012, 11:28 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 15, Colombo: Environmentalists and ornithologists in Sri Lanka warn of possible destruction to Sri Lanka's biodiversity in case of any damage to the Pigeon Island in the Eastern coast of Sri Lanka.

They allege that the attempts are underway to withdraw Pigeon Island from the list of national parks to facilitate tourism in the island.

Wildlife Conservation Department of Sri Lanka named Pigeon Island a maritime sanctuary in 1973 and later in 2003 it was listed as a national park.

The environmentalists say that there is an attempt to de-list Pigeon Island from the list of national parks because of the strict laws hinder progress of tourism projects in the area.

Pigeon Island National Park, one of the two marine national parks of Sri Lanka situated off the coast of Nilaweli in the eastern Trincomalee district, is a tourist hot spot that has to be accessed via boats.

Access to the public to the 471.43 hectare island bordered by a coral reef rich with biodiversity was restricted due to the terrorist activities prevailed during the recent past although it was declared a national sanctuary in 2003 through a special Gazette notification.

The park reopened for tourists in May 2011.

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