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* Environment and Wildlife Minister defends the Forest Conservation officer
Wed, Feb 12, 2020, 10:34 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 12, Colombo: Minister of Environment and Wildlife Resources, SM Chandrasena said he defends the forest conservation officer who stood for the protection of the environment despite the orders of politicians and will protect her.

The Gampaha District Assistant Conservator of Forests Devani Jayatilake assertively refused to violate the law to allow State Minister of Fisheries and Inland Fisheries Industry Sanath Nishantha Perera’s proposal to build a playground in a protected mangrove land in Negombo.

Speaking at a media briefing at the Land Ministry today, Minister Chandrasena said the State Minister Sanath Nishantha may not be aware of the Forest Ordinance when he tried to get a mangrove environment in Negombo to build a playground. He said the Forest Conservation Act is so strong, that not a single inch of land under the purview of the Act can be obtained without parliamentary approval.

The Minister said that the Forest Conservation Officer had done what was right and regretted what had happened during the meeting chaired by the State Minister on Monday.

The Forest Conservation Officer emphatically rejected the State Minister’s proposal saying it is illegal to construct the playground within the mangrove, which has been designated as a protected ecosystem by the government and she will not break the law.

Minister Chandrasena said that the environment laws should be taught to school children as many people do not know the law as they were not taught of laws in school.

 

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