Posted on 02.11.2019 by Chandana Sirimalwatte in Local News with 0 Comments
The media briefing was held on the 7th at Dean’s Road, Maradana to address the views of ‘Youth for change’ on the destruction of the Sinharaja Forest and the interference of imperialists. “The Sinharaja Forest is an ecosystem that is important not only to our country but to the world as well. Sinharaja is a forest which consists of the largest biodiversity in the world. The tropical rain forest known as the World Heritage Forest also has been named as a protected World Heritage Site. It is home to many endemic plant and animal species.
Instead of protecting the world heritage, the Ministry of Environment is planning to destroy the Sinharaja forest by linking it with a World Bank project called ESCAMP. Through this project, a highway will be constructed in the area for tourists, which is 10 feet wide in concrete. The damage to this ecosystem is enormous, and this project was approved in 2011, during the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime. The project, which had to be withdrawn with the protest, restarted under Maithripala Sirisena government in 2017, while the Environment Ministry was under his control. Such projects are carried out not only on the Sinharaja forest but also in some other forest reserves. The World Bank has provided USD 45 million for this purpose. Meanwhile, the five foreign nationals arrested in the Sinharaja forest on 02nd February while they were gathering of a large number of animals and plant species from the Sinharaja forest. More convenience can be created for such rackets with the support of wildlife authorities.
Rajapakse’s government has destroyed forests for Chinese projects in the Hambantota area, and it has identified as 20000 acres of land. The present government has also given a cabinet paper to the companies in charge of commercial agricultural projects in the Trikonamadu Reservoir. A cabinet paper has been brought by the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment under the present government for commercial agricultural projects in the Trikonamadu Reserve of 8500 acres.
Another cabinet paper has been forwarded to the Director Board of the Mahaweli Authority of the same Ministry for the allocation of land for agricultural activities in the Dehiattakandiya and Girandurukotte areas in the Mahaweli Zone. This Ministry is operating under the President.
Authorities destroy the environment, including forests for tourism and commercial agriculture on imperialist economic needs. They are endangering the people and the land on the imperative need. ” Youth for Change organisation urge all of Sri Lankans to stand up against this environmental plunder and imperialist interventions.