An attempt had been made by the State Minister of Wildlife Resources Wimalaweera Dissanayake to bypass a court order which vested a portion of the land belonging to the Polonnaruwa Floodplain with the Wildlife Department, among cultivators who earlier had caused destruction to this land.
The State Minister who had conducted an observation tour of the Lankapura Weheragoda area had directed the Wildlife Officers at the site to allocate this land among the unauthorised cultivators who illegally possessed the land, this led to a tense situation and a heated argument had arisen.
The Government by a special Gazette dated 07th August 1984 had declared this land as a national park which is a environmentally friendly area of 43,315 acres in the Polonnaruwa Floodplain.
Very valuable Kumbuk, Palu and several endemic flora are found in this area. It had been observed that during the past period racketeers had teamed up in felling these valuable trees. In 2015 court action was filed against the perpetrators numbering more than 218 and the court action revealed that the racketeers had caused wanton damage to more than 5,000 acres of this national park. A representative of the Wildlife Range forest officers union W. M. K. Wijekoon speaking to the media said that these lands were released by the court after a very long and a hazardous struggle. (NIMAL JAYARATHNE)