By Sandun A. Jayasekera
President Maithripala Sirisena instructed officials to cancel the licences of timber mill owners who keep illegal timber in their possession.
He issued these instructions to respective officials at a progress review meeting held at the Forest Conservation Department.
President Sirisena visited the Forest Department on Wednesday morning as the Minister in charge of the subject. President Sirisena inspected its activities after the meeting with its senior officials.
Meanwhile, President Sirisena also stressed the importance of curbing all activities that cause destruction of forests.
During the meeting, the President also highlighted the necessity to strictly implement legal measures against timber rackets.
President Sirisena also inquired on the progress of the government’s decision to ban the use of electric chainsaws. He also instructed the Environmental Ministry Secretary to prepare a Cabinet Paper proposing to ban the importation of such saws.
Attention was also given on halting the registration of carpentry sheds.
Discussions also extended to Forest Conservation and Tree Planting programmes in line with the World Environment Day which falls on June 5. The meeting also discussed about the lands belonging to the Land Reformation Commission and the Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation, which are not in use to be deployed to a programme to increase the forest density in the country by a 32% by 2030.
State Minister Mr. Ajith Mannapperuma, Secretary to the Mahaweli Development and Environment Ministry Mr. Anura Disanayake, Director General of Forest Conservation and senior officials also participated at this discussion.
the President also highlighted the necessity to strictly implement legal measures against timber rackets