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Government hell bent on elephant management

The government is now hell bent over the management of wild elephants with the escalation of human elephant conflict on remote rural areas countrywide, official sources said.  

The Cabinet of Ministers on Tuesday (Feb. 23) granted their consent for the combined resolution to publish the government gazette for the proposed Wild Elephant Management Reserve in Hambantota.

The combined resolution was tabled by the Minister of Irrigation and the Minister of Wildlife and Forest Conservation.

Due to the accelerated development projects undergoing within the district of Hambantota, the habitats and wildlife corridors of wild elephants and other wildlife are being severely affected.

Accordingly, a  land in extent of 23,746.55 hectares belonged to the Department of Forest Conservation and Mahaweli Authority of Sri Lanka has been identified for the proposed reserve.

The Cabinet of Ministers granted their consent for the combined resolution to publish the government gazette subsequent to obtaining the agreement of the Legal Draftsman.

For the 37th day, farmers in Walsapugala are engaged in a Satyagraha Campaign demanding the Proposed Wild Elephant Management Reserve in Hambantota, be included in the government gazette.

On the 18th of January, multiple agrarian organisations including the Joint Agrarian Movement of the Walawa Left Bank launched a Satyagraha Campaign and three days later, they ventured into a fast unto death campaign, as their demands were not met.

Two days after the fast unto death campaign was launched, two farmers were hospitalized.

The fast unto death campaign was called off on the 23rd of January, only after promised the farmers to solve the issue within a month.

On Monday, the 22nd of February, farmers staging the Satyagraha Campaign called on Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, together with Ven. Battaramulle Seelarathana Thero.

However, according to the farmers, a solution is yet to be provided to the issue.

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