Forest officer sticks to guns, refuses to break the law
Posted on February 12th, 2020

Pushpakumara Mallawarachchi Courtesy The Daily Mirror

A proposal to construct a playground in the Kadolkele mangrove of the Negombo lagoon had been withdrawn following the strong stand taken by the Gampaha District Forest Officer Devani Jayathilaka at meeting chaired by the Fisheries and Inland Fisheries Industry State Minister Sanath Nishantha Perera on Monday (10).

A video containing the footage of the discussion where some residents of the area are verbally clashing with the forest officer asking her to allow the construction of the playground, has gone viral on social media.         

The forest officer who sticks to her stand flatly rejected the proposal saying it is illegal to construct the playground within the mangrove, which has been designated as a protected ecosystem by the government.       

She proceeded to say that the proposal had been made only heeding to the voice of the people but not giving priority to the scientific facts and possible environmental hazards.

This is an ecosystem. The proposed land belongs to the government. We have an aim at increasing forest cover in the country. Still, we are lacking thousands of hectares of Mangrove areas,” she said. ()

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