Jun 18, 2018

Relocating Sinharaja elephants, suspended

The decision taken to relocate two rare elephants from the Sinharaja Forest Reserve has been suspended.
President Maithripala Sirisena had instructed Anura Dissanayake and the Director General of the Department of Wildlife Conservation Anura Saturusinghe to retain these two elephants in the Sinharaja Forest Reserve, a World Heritage site.
Should the elephants be relocated, it should be only done after consulting a group of experts, and following a scientific study on this regard. 
President Maithripala Sirisena further instructed the officials to take steps to conserve the animals within the lands that belong to them in order to protect the wild elephants.
In order to prevent people residing in the area from being harmed, President Sirisena had advised the authorities to complete the construction of a protective elephant fence as early as possible.
Cannot take responsibility
Meanwhile, minister of wildlife - Sarath Fonseka too has confirmed that the president had urged to suspend the relocating of these elephants.
However, the minister said he is unable to guarantee the safety of the elephants or the people living in the area.
Thugs threaten 
Meanwhile, a group of environmentalists had held a peaceful protest at the Kumbuka junction in Rakwana yesterday (17) against these elephants being relocated.
The protest, organized by the Center for Environment and Nature Studies (CENS) was joined by the Maha Sangha, environmental activists, young lawyers and residents of the area.
However, they had been threatened by a group of thugs, who had attempted to disrupt the protest.
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