Dec 07, 2017

‘Dala Poottuwa’s killers to the gallows?

The government has decided to oust the Sustainable Development and Wildlife Ministry Secretary and the Wildlife Director General from their posts, according to government information sources.

The reason being the allegations they face due to their failure perform their duties efficiently in the Dala Poottuwa killing incident and giving some imported birds to a relative without following proper procedures.

Imported birds given to relative’s gardens

Investigations conducted so far have revealed that the Wildlife Department Secretary had taken measures to provide illegally imported birds to a safari park.

It was also revealed that the caretaker of the park is a relative of the Wildlife Department Secretary.

The Wildlife Minister Gamini Jayawickrema Perera was also unaware that the Ministry Secretary had handed over these birds to the park. Upon coming to know about the incident, the Minister had ordered an investigation which revealed that the Secretary had acted without proper approvals.

Meanwhile, in the Galgamuwa, Dala Poottuwa incident, the Ministry Secretary or the Wildlife Director General was unaware of it until it was revealed through the media.

Government sources revealed that under these circumstances, measures had been taken to replace both the current Wildlife Ministry Secretary and the Wildlife Director General.

Dala Poottuwa’s killers to the gallows

Meanwhile, Minister Sajith Premadasa said he would appeal to the Wildlife Minister Gamini Jayawickrema Perera to even amend the Wildlife Ordinance and send Dala Poottuwa’s killers to gallows. He said this at a media conference held at his ministry yesterday (06).

He further said, “Under the existing laws killers of elephants only get a lenient sentence and a small fine. Therefore, these perpetrators commit the same crime after obtaining release.”

“I requested the relevant officials to change the Wildlife Ordinance, but their response was that if the laws were changed, the public representatives would want to have the rules further relaxed. Further it is vital to conduct an elephant census and establish an Elephant Protection Force,” the minister further added.

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