District Forest officer, Baticaloa, W.M.H.Wijeyaratne had said yesterday that forest areas valued at Rs.3 Million had been destroyed in Batticaloa District, in the last 6 months.
He also said that 45 crimes of felling trees in state forest had been recorded .
These crimes have been detected by the Beat Forest Officers of Periya Pullumalai and Valaichchenai. 20 persons found engaged in these crimes were arrested and cases filed against them, he further said. 13 suspects had been arrested for 18 crimes in the Batticaloa Beat area, 3 suspects for 18 crimes in Periya Pullumalai Beat area and 4 suspects had been arrested for 9 crimes in Valaichenai bet area, he said.
It is notable the 35% forest cover is needed to maintain climate balance and while the forest cover of all other areas have dwindled to between 11 -12, the areas of Tamil Eelam had maintained the proud record of having a forest cover of over 35% , which is the stipulated forest for weather balance, despite encountering a war.