Oct 18, Colombo: The Minister of Environment Mahinda Amaraweera today (18) instructed the Secretary to the Ministry of Environment, Dr. Anil Jasinghe to measure the Muthurajawela and gazette it as a sanctuary considering it as an urgent need.
Due to discussions held at the Ministry recently on the environmental damage to the Muthurajawela, a sensitive ecosystem that is extremely important to the biodiversity of Sri Lanka, the Minister paid an official visit today to observe the wetland.
During the visit today following a complaint lodged with the Minister by a voluntary organization called the Muthurajawela Sanctuary Preservation Association about the environmental damage, the Minister witnessed the devastation to the wetland and instructed the relevant authorities to take appropriate action.
Drawing attention to the large scale landfills and the discharge of harmful waste into the environment, the Minister said steps will be taken to remove all unauthorized constructions in Muthurajawela, as soon as the gazette notification is issued.
He also requested the Survey Department to survey the lands belonging to the wetland as soon as possible.
The Minister has given these instructions after the Divisional Secretary of Ja-Ela, Mrs. TIDK Rajika informed the Minister that since the Muthurajawela Sanctuary has not been measured and gazetted, the number of acres of land belonging to the Muthurajawela Sanctuary could not be ascertained.
The Minister instructed the relevant authorities to expedite the demarcation of the Muthurajawela Sanctuary as the first step in finding answers to the problems in order to save the wetland from this massive devastation. He instructed the relevant officials to take immediate action to survey the wetland and gazette it as a sanctuary.