Forest officer sticks to guns, refuses to break the law

12 February 2020 03:56 pm - 43     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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A proposal to construct a playground in the Kadolkele mangrove of the Negombo lagoon had been withdrawn following the strong stand taken by the Gampaha District Forest Officer Devani Jayathilaka at meeting chaired by the Fisheries and Inland Fisheries Industry State Minister Sanath Nishantha Perera on Monday (10).

A video containing the footage of the discussion where some residents of the area are verbally clashing with the forest officer asking her to allow the construction of the playground, has gone viral on social media.         

The forest officer who sticks to her stand flatly rejected the proposal saying it is illegal to construct the playground within the mangrove, which has been designated as a protected ecosystem by the government.       

She proceeded to say that the proposal had been made only heeding to the voice of the people but not giving priority to the scientific facts and possible environmental hazards.

“This is an ecosystem. The proposed land belongs to the government. We have an aim at increasing forest cover in the country. Still, we are lacking thousands of hectares of Mangrove areas,” she said. (Pushpakumara Mallawarachchi)

  Comments - 43

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  • me Wednesday, 12 February 2020 04:36 PM

    Bravo, young lady. This is how public servents should conduct upholding the law against dumb politicians.

    Sujeeva Deraniyagala Wednesday, 12 February 2020 04:43 PM

    Hats off to the Lady! These politicians have no idea about environment protection and consequences of haphazard development. They only think about votes...and how they get into next Parliament.

    Sanath Wednesday, 12 February 2020 04:49 PM

    Well said and done. We need such brave officers who can standup against such moves. Hats off to her.

    People Wednesday, 12 February 2020 04:50 PM

    Great and we salute you. Other so called public servants please note this lady. We need public servant like ker.

    Willows Drive Wednesday, 12 February 2020 04:52 PM

    Good news

    Sunil Wednesday, 12 February 2020 04:58 PM

    Hats off to this duty conscious lady in the midst of verbal abuses. Sri Lanka certainly needs more and more people of such high caliber.

    Jehan CanagaRetna Wednesday, 12 February 2020 05:07 PM

    A gem of a lady first to stick to the law and to also take the extra step to protect the environment. I just hope that no one interferes with her job and transfers her elsewhere. She truly is a modern day hero

    Prem Nath Thursday, 13 February 2020 10:20 PM

    With G.R. (President) at the helm no one will dare to get her transferred.

    Sam Wednesday, 12 February 2020 05:19 PM

    Straight forward woman. Its a pity there are not many like her. The monkeys against her ruling are typical yakko type. No wonder the country is not making progress.

    Anmanpan Wednesday, 12 February 2020 05:25 PM

    This minister is a grade 8 type rearing prawns. What do he know about the environment. He will join Ali Baba on the next overseas sightseeing trip.

    Premalal Perera Wednesday, 12 February 2020 05:25 PM

    Bravo madam. I wish you were in charge of Wilpaththu when our worthy ministers were raping the jungle watched passively on by the rest of the politicians and authorities.

    Geriatrix Wednesday, 12 February 2020 05:32 PM

    Does that fella know what is oxygen ?

    Inoka Malkanthi Wednesday, 12 February 2020 05:37 PM

    Make her the President, please

    dIREsTRAITS Wednesday, 12 February 2020 05:38 PM

    Leaders including the President has a valuable lesson to learn from this brave lady. If only the men grew some balls like her and could stand up for the rule of law!

    Sario Wednesday, 12 February 2020 05:38 PM

    Very commendable Forrest officer, admirable for standing against this. these worthless uneducated scum called ministers do not know the importance of protected ecosystems. This little tropical isle of ours is destined to doom, because of these good for nothing rogues. Shame.

    Siyarata Wednesday, 12 February 2020 05:43 PM

    Undaunted, bold Lady, I will stand up from my chair whenever I see you in the future. Hats off ! Certain folks there plans to live without O2. Uneducated ministers must be discarded from parliament.

    Ravi Wednesday, 12 February 2020 05:45 PM

    Well done, save the country from modern self destruction mode.

    Banana Citizen Wednesday, 12 February 2020 05:46 PM

    Don't get excited too much. The Officer will be transferred to no man's land soon . Law will be amended to suit the interest of the Politico. All swept under the carpet. Band Wagon Carries on in the Banana Republic.

    Milindha Morahela Wednesday, 12 February 2020 05:50 PM

    Jayawewa Devani ! Jayawewa!

    Sokrates Wednesday, 12 February 2020 05:54 PM

    There is enough land in Negombo, owned by rich people like Nimal Lanza, who can give that to the children.

    SKM Wednesday, 12 February 2020 05:54 PM

    We need more officers like this who would stand up to Grade 8 politicians.

    Ruwan Wednesday, 12 February 2020 05:56 PM

    Respect madom, keep it up

    RavianXReaver Wednesday, 12 February 2020 06:07 PM

    Those who denies her claims deserves a bullet to their head. Worthless pieces of walking meat.

    anton Wednesday, 12 February 2020 06:07 PM

    Hats off to the forest officer, for stand to safe guard the mangrove

    Mohamed Wednesday, 12 February 2020 06:08 PM

    Bravo for her brave stand!

    M.C. Jayawardena Wednesday, 12 February 2020 06:09 PM

    Well done FO Devani. Do not get scared for politicians as long as you are within the law and right in your decision. Did you see the recent UN Conference on Environment where the young Swedish Protester was ignored by Australian and US Heads of States. Few weeks later you saw what happened to Australia where the entire Country was on Bush Fire and how the OZ PM was ridiculed by the people. Stand up fearlessly as long as you are correct and you will definitely be supported by the President who always thinks right.

    Prof Prasanna Perera Wednesday, 12 February 2020 06:10 PM

    I salute her brave decision. Madam this country needs people like you. Prof Prasanna Perera, University of Peradeniya

    Rex Jarkie Wednesday, 12 February 2020 06:11 PM

    WELL SAID MADAM KEEP IT UP

    Shahani Wednesday, 12 February 2020 06:15 PM

    I am really proud of you Mam.I salute you for your courage.

    Nandana Wednesday, 12 February 2020 06:15 PM

    Hats off to Brave lady.

    Abeygunaratna Wednesday, 12 February 2020 06:18 PM

    Hats off, to the brave officer

    Truth Wednesday, 12 February 2020 06:28 PM

    Great Lady , Sri Lanka needs iron ladies like you . We the people will be allways with Honest , Law abiding people like you .

    Karl Wednesday, 12 February 2020 06:30 PM

    We need more public servants like this to reverse the current mess created by corrupt politicians....

    Neville Jayakody Thursday, 13 February 2020 03:46 AM

    Lets test the current government in power how they handle the brave government servants and power hungry politicians, this is a very good litmus test for the president who is also a good government servant before he became the President!

    Nature Thursday, 13 February 2020 04:17 AM

    Well done young lady! Single handedly you handled the situation for the betterment of nearly 20 million Sri Lankans living in Sri Lanka. We can rightly called you a "lady". Australia is one of those countries at least try best to protect the environment and ecosystem. Yet there was a very bad bushfire between December 2019 and Jan 2020 burned areas close to the area of Sri Lanka ( according to reports). Sri Lanka needs more young ladies like you and gentlemen ( who have gentlemen like qualities) to reserect the sinking country for the last 70 years so. God Bless you and people of your nature and calibre!

    Terry De Silva Thursday, 13 February 2020 05:06 AM

    Hats off, to the brave officer, indeed! Does that guy know what oxygen is? Why are politicians' useless henchmen permitted to attend these meetings?

    Ups Thursday, 13 February 2020 06:21 AM

    Basically politicians do ,turm officials to lap dogs by using various methods,here also he said if not him,fishermen might manhandle her,it won't happen if he is not relese his goons,nation as whole carefully watching her safety

    Yana Fernando Thursday, 13 February 2020 06:32 AM

    If we had more public servants like this, The protected Sinharaja and Wilpattu forests wouldn't have been raped during the previous MR regime. Besides the forests, Tea, coconut and rubber plantations were decimated during this period. This lady is a national treasure!

    hemantha dayaratne Thursday, 13 February 2020 06:49 AM

    Hats Off to the bravo lady

    Ravi Govindan Thursday, 13 February 2020 07:05 AM

    Devani may have expressed the correct thing but she should not be such arrogant like a political joker and follow low tone in front of other VIPs. Is it only for a public play ground with a small area?

    Elakiri Thursday, 13 February 2020 07:50 AM

    its only a playground, its not large scale forest destruction, this lady is too much of a liberal tress hugger than a fair advocate

    Raj Thursday, 13 February 2020 08:45 AM

    No matter what, people still choose these dumb politicians

    Srimathi Sumathi Thursday, 13 February 2020 09:43 AM

    So, what do we do with politicians like the state minister? Suggestion- before handing over a portfolio give them a test to find out what they know about the subject they are handling. For all, without rushing to plush officer quarantine them and give an orientation. But I am sure nothing will happen except that the officer will be given a punishment transfer


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