Sunday, March 17, 2013

Deyata Kirula - a front for clearing forest reserves?

The Sunday Leader reported that

More than 10 acres in the Buddhangala sanctuary and over four acres of forest lands situated opposite the sanctuary have already been bulldozed to use as a vehicle park for the exhibition.

When I checked with a friend whose company was involved in the exhibition last year, he said that 500 acres was cleared from the Wilpattu reserve for the exhibition last year.

The modus operandi  appears to be to site the exhibition in some area close to the forest. Then, under the guise of preparing for the exhibition, clear all the trees, using state funds and equipment. The timber, being cleared at 'no cost' (ie with state funds) is then sold at 100% profit by the organisers.

Since the exhibition is being organised by the military the concerns of wildlife rangers and others can be overridden in the interests of "national security". 

Looks like what we have going is a free-for-all smash-and-grab operation.

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