The Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Gunadasa Samarasinghe has confirmed that it was not the Chinese government but a private Chinese company that had requested to import 100,000 toque macaque monkeys from Sri Lanka.
Speaking to a radio programme at the Government Information Department, Samarasinghe said that the privately-owned animal breeding Chinese company, connected to zoological gardens, had made this request.
He has also said that it has not been requested to send 100,000 toque macaque monkeys at one go.
Although we cannot agree immediately, we are compelled to consider this as the agriculture ministry due to the vast crop damages caused by these monkeys, he added.
He also emphasised that they will not be taken from conserved areas. The focus will be only in the cultivation areas,” Samarasinghe added.
Initial reports of this plan caused outrage among environmentalists and general public.
Meanwhile, the Chinese embassy in Sri Lanka on Wednesday issued a clarification with regard to recent media reports claiming that a 100,000 Toque macaque monkeys in Sri Lanka are to sent to China.
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