Moves to resolve human - elephant conflict: Minister Fonseka | Daily News

Moves to resolve human - elephant conflict: Minister Fonseka

Sustainable Development, Wildlife and Regional Development Minister Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka said yesterday, that plans have been set up to resolve the long standing human-elephant conflict within one year.

In the same way that plans were formulated to resolve the 30-year-old terrorist problem within the three years during my tenure as Army Commander, I will formulate plans to resolve the human-elephant conflict within one year in my role as the Wildlife Minister.

The Minister was speaking at a function held to mark the 2nd Anniversary of the Vanadiviya tabloid published by the Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited (ANCL) and issued with the Dinamina Newspaper at the ANCL premises yesterday.

“I have practically observed that most of the facts contained in the informative articles published in the magazine was in relation to wildlife. The supplement has vastly contributed to make aware to the people about wildlife, while creating enthusiasm among the public on the same field. This is a timely need. The general public are not aware about wildlife. as they do not gain any knowledge of wildlife from certain sections of the media, or the so called environmentalists living in Colombo. This magazine would also provide yeoman service to educate and encourage children on wildlife, while creating awareness among them on the importance of protecting wildlife.

Earlier, we used to live with nature, but today, industrial landscapes have distanced us from nature. Today there is a healthy debate on elephants and tuskers. Before I took over the Wildlife Ministry, there was no such debate in the media concerning this subject. This is a good trend. We work expediently to resolve this conflict. People who sling mud at us never make any commitment to solve this issue. There is a malicious campaign that we are trying to deal with certain racketeers to implement the proposed elephant fence project. The project would cost more than Rs. 5 million and we need the assistance of large companies to resolve the problem.

There were 17 elephants and tuskers roaming the Sinharaja forest, while only two of them are presently surviving and we need take measures to protect them. Otherwise, they too would be dead due to human activities. Environmentalists dependent on NGO funds attempt to paint a wrong picture concerning our work and mislead the public. The media should reveal the correct situation of the problem. On average 225 elephants have been killed by farmers, while 85 human deaths have been recorded due to elephants attacks. This has presently turned to be a national issue and we need to get-together and resolve the problem,” Minister Fonseka added.

ANCL General Manager Abhaya Amaradasa said that Lake House would always strive to focus on social development my maintaining sustainability in the print media during the past, today and in the future. We lead the print media in terms of educating the public on the Government’s development programmes, while other private newspapers implement an agendas of their own. At a time when many media outlets have neglected morals, ethics and statistics in their attempt to win over readers and viewers, we have a duty and mission to inform the public on the Government’s development programmes.



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