By Lahiru Pothmulla
Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU) Leader Udaya Gammanpila yesterday pledged to plant one plant for each preferential vote he would receive at the upcoming General Election.
He made the pledge before an audience of environmentalists at Diyasaru Uyana, Battaramulla while joining the programme ‘Haritha Hetak, Manapayata Pelayak’ (A plant for each preferential vote, a greener tomorrow).
Speaking at the event, Mr. Gammanpila, who is contesting the General Election from the SLPP, said the election has become the enemy of the environment.
“Posters, polythene, and fire-crackers contribute immensely to the environmental pollution. The most recent contribution is the vehicle processions. Some candidates believe that higher a number of vehicles in the procession, higher their status. When I arrive at a location in a single vehicle, some say it doesn’t show the peoples power. It is evident that they have no knowledge of carbon emission. Higher the number of vehicles, higher the carbon emission,” he said.
He said only the trees can absorb carbon emitted and the best option available to lessen the impact on the environment during the election campaign is to plant trees as much as possible.
He also said what is more important than just pledging to protect the environment is to take action to protect it.
“Therefore, I expect to add one plant each for each preferential vote I get, to the environment. If I get 300,000 votes from the voters in Colombo, I will dedicate myself to plant 300,000 plants in the next five years,” he said.
Ven. Pahiyangala Ananda Sagara Thera, Professor Sarath Kotagama, Professor Hemanthi Ranasinghe and veteran environmentalist Samatha Gunasekara were also present at the event.