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Rajapaksa administration has won gold medal in deforestation: Opposition MP

Nalin Bandara

ECONOMYNEXT – The Gotabaya Rajapaksa administration has won the gold medal in deforestation, and the alleged destruction of the environment at the hands of the present government has spiraled out of control, opposition Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) MP Nalin Bandara said

Accursing members of the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna who rank below President Rajapaksa in the party hierarchy of contributing to the alleged deforestation, Bandara said “They are the ones who are destroying the environment. We don’t know if this is the wish of President Rajapaksa or not, but he cannot stop this now.”

Speaking to reporters this morning, the MP called on the government to probe the allegations levelled by Sirasa Lakshapthi contestant Bhagya Abeyratne about ongoing deforestation near the Sinharaja rainforest reserve rather than sending policemen and wildlife officers over to her residence to intimidate her.

Police and wildlife officials have visited Abeyratne a number of times since the Lakshapathi episode featuring her aired on Sunday (14), in which she expressed concern about the alleged clearing of the Sinharaja forest area near her home. Her impassioned plea to put a stop to the alleged destruction received much public attention, with political parties and others of influence either criticizing her or defending her right to free speech.

“I feel threatened. I’m only 19 years old. But I don’t think I’ll stop voicing my concerns,” she told the Sirasa NewsFirst network yesterday.

Reported by Imesh Ranasinghe (Colombo/Mar17/2021)

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