Deforestation in Mannar; CA issues notices on Basil and Rishad | Page 3 | Daily News

Deforestation in Mannar; CA issues notices on Basil and Rishad

The Court of Appeal yesterday issued notices on former Minister Basil Rajapaksa, Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, Conservator General of Forests and several others returnable for March 5, pursuant to a writ petition filed against them for allowing human settlements in the Villattikulam reserve in the Mannar district.

Two public interest litigants have filed this writ petition in the Court of Appeal against former Minister Basil Rajapaksa, Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, the Conservator General of Forests and several others.

Malinda Seneviratne, a journalist by profession and Attorney-at-law Nagananda Kodituwakku, a public interest litigation activist, are seeking a writ of mandamus order compelling the Conservator General of Forests to regain the control of the area of land unlawfully acquired belonging to reserved forest.

The petitioners stated that natural reserved forests are protected by law and are being administered by the Conservator General of Forests and no such forest can be used for any other purposes with strict penal sanctions provided by law against violations.

The petitioners stated that the Villattikulam reserved forests has 2108 hectares of forest cover as per the regulations framed under section 3 of the Forest Ordinance and published in the Government Gazette No 1759/2 of 21 May 2012 and law prohibits abuse of any such reserved forest and the state is under duty to protect such forests from any form of exploitation.

The petitioners further stated that Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen's powers, duties and functions as assigned by the Executive President had been duly published in the government gazette and the said assigned powers and duties do not include any power or authority to engage in appropriation of forests lands for human settlement, clearing of such lands and erecting of houses in the forest land appropriated by unlawful means.

The petitioners further stated that on October 5, 2012 Minister Bathiudeen had convened a meeting at his Ministry to determine the acquisition of lands from Mannar, Vavuniya and Mullaithivu districts which included the forest reserve at Pichchai Vanniyakulam also know as bound area (Villattikulam forest reserve) located in Musali DS division in Mannar district for human settlement and allocate 80-perch each for 2,371 Muslim families claimed by Minister Bathiudeen as landless families out of 1,730 families of internally displaced persons from North and registered for resettlement.

The petitioners further stated that on May 7, 2009 on a presidential directive, a 19 member Presidential Task Force (PTF) for resettlement of internally displaced persons in the Northern Province, was formulated with the Basil Rajapaksa appointed as the chairman. The PTF had been afforded with the task of resettling IDPs in their original native places and to restore their livelihoods. This allocation of responsibilities was confirmed by the Conservator General of Forests in report furnished to the Attorney General dated November 9, 2015. 


 

There are 2 Comments

Tropical island red plenty of trees. Deforestation wipe out our dependence on rain wind etc. Greatest havoc on environment agriculture health of the nation

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