President Maithripala Sirisena emphasized that the law must be properly enforced against the persons who are engaged in drug smuggling and environmental damage irrespective of their status and positions in the society.
The President made these remarks addressing the Anuradhapura District Environmental Conference held at the Salgadu Grounds in Anuradhapura, today (14).
President Sirisena expressing his views further said that even though the importance of environment conservation identified as a subject, it has not reached to the public in a practical manner.
The President further said that today the process of environmental conservation has become a responsibility that nobody could neglect. He also said that according to latest international survey reports Sri Lanka has positioned in the second place among the countries vulnerable to the disasters as a result of the climate change.
President Sirisena pointed out the importance of paying prominent attention of all the educated public regarding this dreadful situation arise with the massive environmental damage, and said that all must join their hands with the huge environmental conservation programmes implemented by the government.
The intelligent people should be aware of this negative situation emerged due to the massive environmental destruction, said the President and emphasized that everybody should join hands with the massive environmental conservation program that is being conducted by the government focusing on preserving the environment, which is the fundamental right of all living beings.
The sole reason behind the much weighted threat towards the conserved forests cover is the huge environmental pollution taking place today, said the President mentioning that the government has decided to introduce a licensing system for electric chainsaws used to cut trees. This is an important decision taken in order to conserve the environment through prevention of indiscriminate felling of trees.
Before the 1st of March all electric saws should be registered and obtained licenses from the nearest divisional secretariat, said the President. He stressed the importance of making the public aware of this matter through all the field officers who are working in the rural areas.
If anyone keeps the electric chainsaws illegally, they will be punished under law and a gazette will be issued shortly for this purpose. The President said that he would hold discussions with the companies that import electric chainsaws regarding this issue.
In the meantime, President pointed out that irregular garbage management has led to environmental degradation, adding that there was a major obstacle in the implementation of government plans for recycling of garbage by introducing a proper garbage management program. There were also mass protests against it. The President pointed out that these protests will emerge due to lack of proper understanding about the need for garbage management projects with the latest technology. The President also pointed out that if a waste management project is being carried out in a given area, a large number of agricultural benefits will be provided too and it will also yield many byproducts as well.
Meanwhile, the President expressed concern about the environmental issues in the Anuradhapura District and said that the implementation of the Malwathu Oya development project will be resumed soon.
President Sirisena launched the environment program in Anuradhapura District by planting a tree at the Walisinghe Harischandra grounds premises.
Report containing the environmental issues and solutions in Anuradhapura District was presented by district secretary Mr. R.M. Wanninayake to the President at this time.
Distribution of fruit plants among the students of the district, granting allocations for the project of planting thousands of Mee trees near the village of Anuradhapura, Ipiologama, Manaewakanda, granting allocations for the project of preventing irregular garbage disposal near the pilgrimage site at Nuwaragam, granting allocations for fruit plantation project at Paadikkagama village at Madawachchiya, and distributing 5000 rainwater tanks to the people of Anuradhapura was initiated with the patronage of the President.
The President also presented an award to the researcher and innovator, Namal Udara Piyasiri. He is an award winning innovator who introduced water hyacinth machine to purify reservoir systems.
The Mahasangha including the chief incumbent of Ruwanweli Maha Saya, Pallegama Hemarathana thero, other religious prelates, Ministers P. Harrison, Chandrani Bandara, Ajith Mannapperuma, Member of Parliament Duminda Dissanayake, the North central governor Sarath Ekanayake and many public representatives, public officers, officials of the defense service, school students of North central province were present in this event.
Having the blessing of Sri Maha Bodiya, the president visited Anuradhapura to participate the Environmental conference this morning. Afterwards, the president visited ven. Dr pallegama Siriniwasa Nayaka Thero Atamasthanadipathi, Chief Sanghanayaka.