MONLAR Accuses Govt Of Exacerbating Nature Destruction


While President Gotabaya Rajapaksa insisted that regional government officials should replant trees in his Independence Day Message, his government had taken steps to accelerate the destruction of nature, an environmentalist said.

Movement for Land and Agricultural Reform (MONLAR) Spokesman Sajeewa Chamikara told The Earthlanka that the government had caused grave environmental degradation by allowing racketeers to extract granite, soil and sand with hardly any control, Some government ministers had also advised officials to turn a blind eye with regards to environmental destruction caused by ‘development projects’, he alleged.

Chamikara alleged that Mahaweli Development and Agriculture Minister Chamal Rajapaksa, at the Hambantota District Co-ordination meeting on Monday, had asked officials not to interfere when natural resources, particularly soil and rock stones were taken for massive development projects. More than 25,000 acres had been cleared in the Hambantota District, he said adding that it was the major cause for the Human-Elephant conflict increasing in the vicinity. “When soil is taken out from forests that would ultimately end up in more and more Human-Elephant conflicts,” he added. Chamikara strongly believes that Gotabaya Rajapaksa government first and foremost should protect the forests in the country. “No point  in uttering mere words and promoting replanting trees,” he added.