During the former regime’s rule, permission had been given by Ministry of Economic Development, despite strong opposition from relevant officers for wanton destruction of forests in the North, said the President, Maithripala Sirisena. In another one week’s time a high level officer team will be sent to the North and proper action will be taken after the team submit its report, he said.
He was speaking in the debate on the votes for the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water resource Development.
The TNA and the JVP expressed opinion om the forest devastation in the North and I Held a discussion with Army, Police, Forest Conservation Department Officials, and District Secretariat. I had asked them to prevent the deforestation and I have warned them that they will be held responsible if they do not stop deforestation, he said.
The former Ministry of Economic Development had given permits for 2500 acre in Mannar, 325 acre in Vavuniya, 325 acre in Mullaitheevu. Even though lands are obtained for resettlement, if forest are destroyed strong action will be taken after the Officers Report, he said.
Speaking in the same debate Minister Rishad said that the people had not touched even one inch of Wilpattu. some fake Religionist and racist are extending false propaganda. Let them prove whatthey say, if they can. After got out of Mahinda Government racist activities are undertaken against me. Some people had called for a demonstration against me on the 19th.
It is notable that Tamil Diplomat exclusively reported Destruction of Archaeologically important forest lands in Mullaitheevu, right with connivance of Minister Rishad and ICRC of Kuwait, with photographic evidences.