Jul 17, 2019

'Colonel' clears 8-acres in Sinharaja (Pics) Featured

An 08-acrea area of the Botiyatenna region of the Sinharaja reserve is being illegally cleared and set on fire, a group of environmentalists allege.

In a media release, the 'Rainforest Protectors' organisation say that a person said to be a retired army colonel is clearing this area to build a water bottling plant.

The place is currently being cleared out by backhoes and is covered in a thick veil of smoke, it adds.

The press release notes that the last two jumbos of the Sinharaja elephant population usually habit Botiyatenna and cross between Pannila as well as the Sinharaja and Walankanda reserves through this area.

Noting that a large number of local plant varieties have been destroyed using backhoes and set on fire, the organisation further says the individual had not obtained the necessary permission to clear the area which is a water source area as well as a soil conservation area.

Being Sri Lanka’s last primary tropical rainforest, the Sinharaja reserve is home to an unique ecosystem and is named as an UNESCO world heritage.

The 'Rainforest Protectors' organisation allege that although they have written to multiple bodies of authority including the ministry of environment, the Central Environmental Authority is dodging the issue.