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* President orders immediate halt to construction projects, land filling in Muthurajawela sanctuary
Thu, Mar 22, 2018, 07:51 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 22, Colombo: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena after undertaking an observation visit to the Muthurajawela Sanctuary today ordered an immediate halt to all construction and land reclamation activities within the sanctuary which could result in the destruction of the environment surrounding the diverse eco system.

The President has ordered to revoke all the permits that has already been given by any government organization to fill any lands around the area, President's Media division said.

The President has instructed relevant authorities to take disciplinary actions against the government officers who have already sponsored such acts which pollute the environment or those who are still giving assistance for such harmful actions.

Recently there were repeated media reports on acts of environmental pollution that was occurring near Muthurajawela Sanctuary which is a vital wetland in Sri Lanka. In view of these reports, President Sirisena made a deep study on this issue and undertook an observational visit around the place around dawn today (March 22).

After the visit, the President held a special meeting with the ministers, government officers, as well as the Chiefs of security forces and issue those instructions.

President Sirisena also directed the officers to obtain legal advice to gazette these lands as wild life and environmental conservation regions.

The President said that even a land with ownership deed, permission should not be granted for constructions or land filling, if there is an adverse effect on the environment. If there is any political influence behind such acts he would not hesitate to take immediate action them too, he said.

President Sirisena instructed the Inspector General of Police to provide special security through Special Task Force of the police and to erect barriers to the roads that leads to the wetlands in order to prevent the acts of environmental pollution taking place near the sanctuary.

President Sirisena ordered immediately to revoke the permits, if any, given by the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau to provide soil for the filling lands in this area.

Ministers Patali Champika Ranwaka, Duminda Dissanayake, and Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundera participated in the tour with the President.

 

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