Wilpattu National Park deforestation; Writ petition fixed for judgment | Daily News


 

Wilpattu National Park deforestation; Writ petition fixed for judgment

UPDATE:

The writ petition filed by the Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ) seeking an order to quash the clearing of the Wilpattu National Park forest and constructing a housing project adjoining the National Park was yesterday fixed for judgment by the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal two-judge-bench comprising Justice Janak de Silva and Justice Nissanka Bandula Karunaratne fixed the petition for judgment to be delivered on July 31.

The Court was informed that all parties including seventh respondent former Minister Rishad Bathiudeen have already filed their written submissions regarding the writ petition.

The CEJ had filed this writ petition naming the Conservator General of Forest Conservation Department, Central Environmental Authority (CEA), Director General of Wildlife Department, Commissioner General of Lands, Commissioner General of Archeology Department, Mannar District Secretary, Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Environment and Mahaweli Development and the Attorney General as respondents.

The petitioner stated that a vast area approximately 2,000 Hectares in the forest complex adjoining the Wilpattu National Park (Northern Sanctuary of Wilpattu National Park and Maraichukkaddi /Karadikkuli Reserved Forest Stands westward of Wilpattu Blocks II and IV) has been cleared, divided into plots, roads paved and unauthorized settlements established making irreparable damage to the whole environment and the Ecosystem and wildlife habitats.

The petitioner further stated that approximately 1,000 hectares of forest in Madhu, Periyamadu and Sannara areas which are parts of the Forest complex (Madhu Road Sanctuary and Madhu road Reserved Forests) have similarly been destroyed for settlements.

The Petitioner further stated that around 1,500 families have been illegally settled in the cleared areas belonging to the Maraichukkaddi /Karadikkuli Forest Reserve and in the forest complex of the Madhu Road reserve and Madhu road sanctuary which come under the purview of Forest Ordinance No. 02 of 1937 as amended.

The Petitioner states that several plots of lands amounting to approximately 50 Acres in the Northern sanctuary of Wilpattu National Park which comes under the purview of the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance, permanent and temporary houses and other structures have been erected and cleared for the road construction.

The Petitioner has information that the former Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen has been involved in mobilizing deforestation of these forest reserves and establishing a settlement under the pretext of resettlement of internally displaced people (IDPs).

The petitioner further sought an order in the nature of Mandamus ordering the first respondent to take action against the illegal removal of forest cover , and re- instate the forest lands to the forest reserve and organize forest replanting program under and in terms of the provisions of the Forest Ordinance No.16 of 1907. Counsel Ravindranath Dabare with Nirmal Wickremasinghe appeared for the petitioner. Senior State Counsel Manohara Jayasinghe appeared for the Attorney General.

 

 

Deforestation of Wilpattu national park; writ petition fixed for judgment -Time: 14:43
 
The writ petition filed by Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ) seeking an order to quash clearing of the Wilpattu National Park forest and constructing a housing project adjoining the National Park was today fixed for judgment by Court of Appeal.
 
Court of Appeal two-judge-bench comprising Justice Janak de Silva and Justice Nissanka Bandula Karunaratne fixed petition for judgment to be delivered on July 31.
 
The Court was informed that all parties including seventh respondent former Minister Rishad Badiuddeen have already filed their written submissions regarding the writ petition.
 
The CEJ had filed this writ petition naming Conservator General of Forest Conservation Department, Central Environmental Authority (CEA), Director General of  Wild Life Department, Commissioner General of Lands, Commissioner General of Archeological Department, Mannar District Secretary, Rishad Badiuddeen the Minister of Industry and commerce, Minister of Environment and Mahaweli  Development and the Attorney General as respondents.

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