The Ven. Pahiyangala Ananda Sagara Thera, who works under the President states that the Wilpattu forest reserve is being destroyed, while the President has taken a completely opposing stand. Hence, Sunanda Thera said this has raised concern as to which stance is correct.
He noted that the Wilpattu issue is a national issue and not a racial issue.
He said this in response to the statement made by Ven. Pahiyangala Ananda Sagara Thera.
President Maithripala Sirisena, said in Kandy on March 23 that he had not given even an inch of land from Wilpattu to anyone during his tenure over the past four years.
He noted that during this period not an inch from Wilpattu had been given to any individual or organisation.
''I did not give even an inch of land from Wilpattu to anyone''- says President
Addressing the Thripitakabhiwandana ceremony in Kandy the President noted that he had not given even an inch of Wilpattu land to anyone during his past four years in power.
The President had noted that it was inappropriate to bring up this issue at such a ceremony but had taken a few minutes to clarify his stand on the Wilpattu matter.
'New political project to burn down forests’ –SLFP expresses suspicion!
Meanwhile, SLFP General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekara said the Wilpattu issue is suspected to be one that had been brought up targeting the President. Therefore, he calls on the government to conduct a proper investigation regarding this issue.
Jayasekara also said that Basil Rajapaksa had also made a statement regarding the allegations that the Wilpattu destruction was caused in 2012 under the Rajapaksa regime.
Under such circumstances he found fault with the social media onslaught regarding the Wilpattu issue, expressing suspicion on whether the setting fire to forests was also another political stance.
Therefore, he said as there has not been any resettlement of deforestation in Wilpattu, the government should express all details regarding the Wilpattu situation before the people.
Rishad’s media briefing: Response to all atrocious allegations
Meanwhile, the video recording of the press briefing held by Minister Rishad Bathiudeen countering all the allegations levelled against him is shown below.