ECONOMYNEXT – The main opposition Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) led a demonstration in Colombo this afternoon Wednesday, March 24, to protest against what it called was mass deforestation under the present government.
They particularly zeroed in on plans to carry out irrigation works in the pristine Sinharaja rainforest region announced by Irrigation Minister Chamal Rajapaksa two days ago.
The demonstrators staged a “funeral” for the Sinharaja forest complete with a traditional “Funeral band” and a coffin marked “Sinharaja.”
The demonstration was joined by a Veddah group which performed a traditional dance and decried the loss of their habitat to deforestation.
The SJB has been constantly criticizing the government for allowing the District Administrations to release land for slash and burn cultivation which environmentalists have flagged as harmful to the ecosphere and to animals, particularly the dwindling Elephant population in Sri Lanka.
The Leader of the Opposition Sajith Premadasa led the demonstration which saw SJB supporters from around the country, as well as other opposition groups including the Tamil National Alliance, take part. (Colombo, March 24, 2021)
Reported by Arjuna Ranawana