Former chairman of Arachchikattuwa Pradeshiya Sabha Jagath Samantha has been found to be the person behind the recent environmental disaster in the Anavilundawa sanctuary.
The panel of specialists appointed to probe into the incident by Wildlife and Forest Conservation Minister C.B. Rathnayake, has revealed this.
Jagath Samantha is also the brother of State minister r of Rural and Divisional Drinking Water Supply Projects Development Sanath Nishantha, who had ironically stated to journalists that he was not connected to the incident.
The committee report was tabled in Parliament yesterday (09) and concluded that the shrimp cultivation centre was contracted for reconstruction through Poruwathotage Sujith Nishantha Fernando the backhoe driver by Warnakulasuriya Nishantha Fernando, adding that the project was undertaken on the request by former chairman of Arachchikattuwa Pradeshiya Sabha Jagath Samantha.
Samantha had acquired the aforesaid land for shrimp cultivation on a number of occasions earlier, the report added.
Both Minister Sanath Nishantha and his brother Jagath Samantha were previously bailed after being remanded on charges of assaulting the Arachchikattuwa Divisional Secretary
Cleaning out shrimp farms won’t hurt oxygen – Sanath Nishantha
State minister – Sanath Nishantha has stated that he has nothing to do with clearing of the Anavilundawa sanctuary area for shrimp farming.
He adds that there is no affect to Oxygen levels either, when cleaning a shrimp farm.
It is said that the area was handed over to a company for shrimp farming by J.R. Jayewardene. After the company abandoned the 200 acre land in 1996, the people of the area had been cultivating prawns by paying taxes to the government, he adds.
Noting that the prevailing issue is a battle between law and humanity, Nishantha said he chose to be on the side of the people.
Political bigwigs behind Anavilundawa disaster
Meanwhile, Chairman of ‘Lak Soba’ Conservators – Samantha Gunasekera said that a group with political might was behind the Anavilundawa destruction, who had prepared the sanctuary ground for shrimp farming.
He also said that those who had turned anxious when the Wildlife department had initiated a Mangrove restoration programme, were behind this.
Courtesy:Sri Lanka Mirror