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* Environmentalists to protest deforestation of Wilpattu National Park tomorrow
Fri, Dec 18, 2015, 12:08 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 18, Colombo: A collective of several environmental organizations in Sri Lanka is planning to hold a rally to protest continuing deforestation of the Wilpattu National Park and raise public awareness in the issue.

The public protest of the environmental group will be held Saturday (19) at the Vihara Maha Devi Park from 9.30 a.m. to urge the government to stop environmental destruction in the Wilpattu National Park.

Many civil society organizations and environmental organizations including the Collective of National Environment Organizations, Environment Conservation Trust, Wildlife Conservation Forum, Sri Lanka Environmental Federation and Reforest Sri Lanka will participate in the protest, according to a report in The Island.

The collective will launch a program to collect a million signatures against the deforestation of the Wilpattu National Park.

The environmentalists have criticized the President Maithripala Sirisena, who is the Mahaweli and Environment Minister, and the Prime Minieter Ranil Wickramasinghe for neglecting many environmental issues.

Environment Conservation Trust (ECT) Director Sajeewa Chamikara told The Island that the resettlement in the Kallaru forest had commenced in 2011 and 2012 under Northern Spring (Uthuru Wasanthaya) project under Minister Rishad Bathiudeen and Former Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa during the previous government. He said that even though the encroachment slowed down after the new government came to power, it had now picked up pace.


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