Against Drug smuggling, environment pollution

President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday stressed that the law must be properly enforced against those engaged in drug smuggling and environmental damage irrespective of their status and positions in society.

The President was addressing the Anuradhapura District Environmental Conference at the Salgado Grounds in Anuradhapura, yesterday.

President Sirisena added that even though the importance of environment conservation is identified as a subject, it has not reached the public in a practical manner. The President said that today the process of environmental conservation has become a responsibility that nobody could neglect.

He also said that according to the latest international surveys, Sri Lanka is positioned in second place among the countries vulnerable to disasters as a result of climate change.

President Sirisena pointing out to the importance of the educated public paying special attention regarding massive environmental damage stressed the importance of all joining hands to support the massive environmental conservation programmes implemented by the government.

“The intelligent people should be aware of this negative situation that emerges due to the massive environmental destruction,”the President said while emphasising that everybody should join hands with the government’s massive environmental conservation programme focusing on preserving the environment, which is the fundamental right of all living beings.

“The sole reason behind the much weighted threat towards the conserved forests cover is the huge scale of environmental pollution taking place today,” President Sirisena said.

The President also said the government has decided to introduce a licensing system for electric chainsaws used to cut trees.

“This is an important decision taken in order to conserve the environment through prevention of indiscriminate felling of trees. Before March 1, all electric saws should be registered and a license obtained from the nearest Divisional Secretariat”,the President said.

He stressed the importance of making the public aware of this matter through all field officers working in the rural areas.

“If anyone keeps an electric chainsaw illegally, they will be punished under the law. A Gazette will be issued shortly for this purpose,” the President said.

The President said that he would hold discussions with the companies that import electric chainsaws regarding this issue.

President Sirisena also pointed out that irregular garbage management has led to environmental degradation, adding that there was a major obstacle in the implementation of the government’s plans for recycling of garbage by introducing a proper garbage management programme. There were also mass protests against it.

The President pointed out that these protests will emerge due to lack of proper understanding about the need for garbage management projects with the latest technology.

The President also pointed out that if a waste management project is being carried out in a given area, a large number of agricultural benefits will be provided too and it would also yield many byproducts as well.

Meanwhile, the President expressed concern about environmental issues in the Anuradhapura District and said that the implementation of the Malwathu Oya Development Project would resume soon.

President Sirisena launched the environment programme in the Anuradhapura District by planting a tree at the Walisinghe Harischandra grounds premises.

A Report containing the environmental issues and solutions in Anuradhapura District was presented by District Secretary R.M.Wanninayake to the President on the occasion.

Distribution of fruit plants among the students of the district, granting allocations for the project of planting thousands of Mee trees in Anuradhapura, Ipiologama, Manaewakanda, granting allocations for the project of preventing irregular garbage disposal near the pilgrimage site at Nuwaragam, granting allocations for fruit plantation project at Paadikkagama village at Madawachchiya and the distribution of 5,000 rainwater tanks to the people of Anuradhapura was initiated under the President’s patronage.

The President also presented an award to researcher and innovator Namal Udara Piyasiri. He is an award winning innovator who introduced the water hyacinth machine to purify reservoir systems.

The Maha Sangha including the Chief Incumbent of Ruwanweli Maha Saya, Ven. Pallegama Hemarathana Thera, other religious dignitaries, Ministers P. Harrison, Chandrani Bandara, Ajith Mannapperuma, Member of Parliament Duminda Dissanayake, North Central Governor Sarath Ekanayake and many public representatives, public officers, Defence Service officials, North Central Province officials were also present.

President Sirisena also paid homage to the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhiya also cllaed on Atamasthanadipathi, Chief Sanghanayaka Ven. Dr. Pallegama Siriniwasa Nayaka Thera.


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