Connect with us

News

Hambantota fast to continue till elephant reserve is gazetted

Published

on

By Rathindra Kuruwita

Farmers of Hambantota would continue with their fast until a gazette notification declaring the Wild Elephant Management Reserve in Hambantota was published, environmentalist Sajeewa Chamikara said yesterday.

The farmers of Hambantota have been protesting for over 35 days, demanding the gazetting of the reserve, Chamikara said.

“A plan to create this reserve was prepared in 2010 and approval granted in 2011. However, powerful ministers of both the Rajapaksa and yahapalana governments prevented the implementation of the plan. There are behind a large number of soil and granite extraction sites in the area earmarked for the reserve. A powerful Minister in this government too is opposed to the proposed reserve.”

Chamikara added that there was no need for Cabinet approval for the declaration of a protected area. According to the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance, the Minister of Environment could declare a protected area. “Given this, the government’s move is a clear diversionary strategy,” the senior environmentalist said.

Chamikara said that the government had not obtained Cabinet approval for expanding a road to Lankagama or parcelling out land in Kandakadu, Dahaiyagala and Somawathiya.

“Farmers know this and that’s why they will go on with their fast until the gazette is printed. 156 farmer organisations and a number of trade unions have joined the struggle of the Hambantota farmers. At a time when some claiming to be farmers are clearing forest land when the President visits villages, these people are trying to protect the forests and ecology,” Chamikara said.

The Cabinet on Monday approved a proposal by the Minister of Environment to declare a 23,746 hectare elephant reserve subsequent to obtaining the agreement of legal draughtsman for publishing the gazette.



Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

Southern MP warns that Russian & Ukranian tourists working here are at risk

Published

on

“They may be knifed or their lives threatened”

ECONOMYNEXT – Tourists from Russia and Ukraine who are staying in houses in Sri Lanka for long periods are engaging in business activities and should be taxed to prevent them being knifed by competitors, SLPP MP Chandima Weerakkody told parliament on Friday.

“There are many tourists who are staying long term in houses,” he said. “Though they come here they cannot use their credit cards – especially Russian and Ukrainian tourists who cannot use their money through their cards. As a result they have been forced to work and earn something in Sri Lanka.”

He called on the government to have a system where they can use their money.

“In our areas many tourists are cutting hair, some are doing tinkering work, some are setting up pizza shops, some are selling cannabis – I think there is a new name now *for ganja),” Weerakkody said. “If we send the immigration behind the tourists who are coming, even those that are coming will not come.”

“No taxes are being charged from any of these tourists who are doing business. Our (local people’s) taxes are raised. I am asking at least to have a system for the government to collect some taxes

“I want to say in Parliament that in our areas, a knifing (pihi anumak), or some other threat to life (jeewitha tharjanayak) may happen if this situation continues.”

Continue Reading

News

Kidney sale racket unearthed in Colombo

Published

on

Five duped to sell their kidneys at Rs. 15 million each

By Norman Palihawadane

The Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) has informed the Colombo Additional Magistrate Ranjindra Jayasuriya that an investigation has been launched to arrest the suspects involved in the organized racket of obtaining kidneys from poor people promising big money and selling them to local and foreign people.The CCD told the court on Thursday that four men and one woman have parted with their kidneys, and despite promising to pay Rs.15 million per kidney nothing was paid.

CCD reported to court that the victims were operated at a Hospital on Cotta Road in Borella and no money was paid. A mother who was nursing a one-and-a-half-year-old infant was among those cheated.

The police told court that a person from the Bloemendhal area had referred these people through another man and a woman. Required medical tests had been conducted at three private hospitals.

Evidence has been obtained that kidney surgeries had been performed at a private hospital in Borella and the CCD stated in court that this racket was organized targeting poor families in Colombo.

It informed court that they have already launched investigations and will arrest the suspects and produce them before court.After considering the relevant submissions, the Magistrate ordered the CCD to conduct investigations and arrest the suspects and present them to court.

Continue Reading

News

Record highest number of school students visit Parliament

Published

on

School children wave during their visit to Parliament on Thursday (1). Serjeant-at Arms Narendra Fernando said that the largest number of school students in the history of the Parliament visited the Parliament on Dec 1. Over 5,000 students from 32 schools from different provinces visited the Parliament on that day, he said. More than 25,000 students representing schools in different parts of the country had visited to observe the Parliamentary debates after the Public Gallery was reopened for school students from Sept 19.

Continue Reading

Trending