Stern action against environment polluters - Amaraweera | Daily News

Stern action against environment polluters - Amaraweera

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has instructed the relevant officials to take action against those who destroy the environment, regardless of their status, Minister of Environment Mahinda Amaraweera said on Thursday.

He was speaking to a group of environmental journalists and senior environmentalists at the Ministry of Environment, the media unit of the ministry in a communique said.

The Minister said there is a massive propaganda campaign on some social media networks that deforestation and environmental destruction is taking place under this Government.

“Clearly there is truth in some of the environmental devastation revealed by the media. They do not take place with the instructions of the Government. They are carried out by some racketeers. It seems that some local politicians are also involved in this. But a large number of untruths are covered up on social media to cover up real events”.

He further stated that the Government will never disregard its commitment to protect the environment and those politicians as well as officials who are behind certain environmental damage incidents will be punished irrespective of status, if found responsible for the incidents.

“Although I instructed the Bopitiya Police to seize five dump trucks carrying building materials from Colombo to fill up the Muthurajawela wetland, a senior officer there did not take any action. It was later revealed that the officer was allegedly involved”.

Although the authorities have the ability to prevent some environmental damage, it has not been implemented. In a district, there is a large network of officers including District Secretaries, Divisional Secretaries, Grama Niladharis, Environmental Officers, Geological Officers, Development Officers, Forest Officers, Agrarian Development Officers and Agricultural Research Officers”.

The clearing of land for cultivation in certain places is not deforestation or environmental degradation at all, and environmental damage is being done with the intervention of certain racketeers and certain government officials, and the Ministry of Environment has taken legal action against a large number of such individuals, the Minister said.

He said the day before yesterday he presented a technical report to the President on the sand, gravel, soil and clay required for development activities.