By Sandun A Jayasekera
The government was committed to protecting public officials, journalists and environmentalists who were dedicated to saving the environment, Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said yesterday.
Strict action would be taken against those who destroy the environment and violate the environment law and 35 cases had already been filed against those who had violated the law and regulations in various acts of polluting the environment, he added.
Minister Amaraweera expressed his gratitude on behalf of the government to the officials, journalists and environmentalists who have taken action to protect the environment during the incidents of environmental damage reported in recent times.
- People in the country are paying more attention to the protection of the environment now. This positive mindset among the public is extremely important to save the environment and apprehend those who destroy it
Commenting on the tragic incident that took place between one of the state ministers and a group of officials at the Polonnaruwa Flood Prevention Valley, the Minister said the facts presented by the officials should have listened carefully and if there was any shortcoming, mistake or misunderstanding, it should have pointed out patiently and not in an aggressive manner.
Minister Amaraweera expressed these views at a ceremony held to mark the inauguration of the development programme of the Eraminiyaya Road in Angunakolapelessa.
“People in the country are paying more attention to the protection of the environment now. This positive mindset among the public is extremely important to save the environment and apprehend those who destroy it,” Minister Amaraweera stressed.
Certain propaganda on social media to the effect that the destruction of the environment has increased since this government came to power was a canard. The government has filed 35 cases this year alone against those who have violated the environmental law.
Puttalam is currently the worst affected district. Puttalam is a difficult area and it is not clear what the people of that area expect from the deforestation, he noted. Minister Amaraweera commenting on the brutal act of killing a Police officer in Kobeigane by a group of sand smugglers said that steps would be taken to ban sand licenses if the sand tipper belonged to a licensed sand miner.