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President Maithripala Sirisena says he undertook the Ministry of Environment as no politician, irrespective of the divisions of parties, has fulfilled the responsibility for environmental conservation.

He stated that 54 chemicals out of 97 chemicals that cause damage the Ozone Layer have been removed from use as a result of strict action taken by the Government of Sri Lanka.

President Sirisena made these remarks at the national ceremony to mark the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, held at the German Technical Training Institute in Moratuwa today (Sep. 16).

The President pointed out that the natural resources of this country have been destroyed by the undue influences of some powerful businessmen and politicians. “The sand, soil and gem industries have become rackets to destroy the environment” he added.

The President, recalling that the sand mining in Polonnaruwa District  has already been prohibited, said the most critical challenge which the humans are facing is that their abuse of the technical knowledge to devastate all beings including humans.

He proposed to hold this national ceremony to mark the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer next year with participation of the businessmen and the owners of the factories that produce or emit chemicals or gases damaging the ozone layer.

After declared opening the art exhibition on International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, the President opened the newly set up freezer cleaning center that has been established in Sri Lanka for the first time.

The President also presented the prizes and certificates to the winners of the art competition, organized by the ministry of Mahaweli and Environment. He presented the certificate to the Minister of Skill Development and Vocational Training, Mr. Mahinda Samarasinghe for establishing of the freezer cleaning center at the German Technical Training Institute in Moratuwa, symbolizing of the establishment of eight such centers island-wide.

Resident Coordinator of United Nations and UNDP Resident Representative, Subinay Nandy, state minister of University Education Mohan Lal Grero, State Minister for Defence, Ruwan Wijeywardena, Deputy Minister of Housing and Construction Indika Bandaranayake and the Secretary to the Ministry of Mahaweli and Environment Udaya R. Senaviratne also participated in this occasion.

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