Feb 10, 2017

ECT gives evidence of Wilpattu forest destruction Featured

An organized group led by minister Risath Bathiudeen has already seized around 3,400 acres of land from four forest reserves located north of the Wilpattu national park and clearing the land for human occupation, the Environment Conservation Trust alleges.

In a staterment, ECT director Sajiva Chamikara says 2,500 acres of Marichchukaddi-Karadikkuli forest reserve, 700 acres of Wilaththkulam forest reserve and 100 acres each of Veppal and Mavillu forest reserves have been cleared so far.

An attempt has also been made to show pictures of the traditional Muslim village Marichchakaddi on the northern boundary of the national park to claim it had long been a human habitation.

The ECT says it has on many occasions explained with the use of documents and maps how the land has been seized, cleared and occupied.

It adds that around 60 per cent of the people, settled for political reasons, have left the occupied land since due to human-elephant conflicts, flooding during rains, severe water shortage during droughts, and absence of livelihoods and infrastructure.