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* Pigeon Island of Sri Lanka not to be removed from the list of national parks
Sat, Dec 29, 2012, 09:58 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 29, Colombo: Director General of Wildlife Department of Sri Lanka H.D. Rathnayaka said the Pigeon Island would not be removed from the list of national parks.

He added that the island and the coral reef in the sea in close proximity to the island will be preserved.

Environmentalists and ornithologists in Sri Lanka recently alleged that the attempts were underway to withdraw Pigeon Island from the list of national parks to facilitate tourism in the island.

The environmentalists said 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.

They warned of possible destruction to Sri Lanka's biodiversity in case of any damage to the Pigeon Island in the Eastern coast of Sri Lanka.

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. It is one of the two marine national parks of Sri Lanka situated off the coast of Nilaweli in the eastern Trincomalee district.

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 during the war time and the park was reopened for tourists in May 2011.

** Related Story :: Sri Lanka environmentalists request to save Pigeon Island in Trincomalee as a reserve

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