The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) Organisation today lashed out at President Mahinda Rajapaksa and government officials for keeping mum about a large scale housing complex being constructed in the middle of the Wilpattu National Park.
It said there was evidence to prove that some unscrupulous elements in the government were backing this illegal project which was bound to destroy a national treasure and that the BBS would take the matter to courts shortly.
The organisation claimed that the huge housing project was being carried out with funds received from a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) based in a Middle Eastern country with the backing of a minister.
“A project of this nature has to be carried out with the involvement of several ministers such as those of the Environment and Renewable Energy Ministry and the Wildlife Resources Conservation Ministry because this project is located within a National Park. The National Heritage Ministry should be responsible because of valuable artefacts that might be destroyed because of the construction work. Ministries of Finance and Planning and External Affairs and even the security forces should not keep silent on important matters such as this,” BBS General Secretary the Ven. Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera told a news conference today.
He said the BBS had requested a meeting with the President to discuss this matter.
“But we haven’t received a reply so far. The Construction, Engineering Service, Housing and Common Amenities Minister, who should resolve these concerns is also silent,” the Thera charged.
According to the BBS, the minister who is backing the project has received funds from an NGO. “Even the Regional office of the Central Environmental Authority has said this project would destroy the forest. If the authorities are resettling people it should be carried out in a proper manner and in a proper place, not illegally in the heartland of a valuable forest reserve,” the Thera said. (Lahiru Pothmulla and Darshana Sanjeewa)