President to put environment first in Port City project

President Maithripala Sirisena says the Government will give priority to the environment when taking decisions related to the Colombo Port City project.

He also said that he will obtain the assistance of the tri-forces service personnel to protect the natural resources including forest and coastal areas.

He made these observations while participating in a special discussion with the heads of the environment protection organizations and environmentalists at the  Presidential Secretariat today.

The President said that a committee will be appointed within the next two days to receive complaints on damages to the environment taking place anywhere in the country and the committee will comprise representatives of the Ministries of Environment and Wildlife and Security Forces personnel.

The environmentalists stated that even though the President halted the deforestation and land clearing around the Wilpattu National Park, there are instances of land clearing taking place even now. They further pointed out that due to the North Western Environmental Charter the Central Environmental Authority could not take any action against some persons who cause damages to the environment.

The President’s attention was drawn to the Colombo Port City project and the President said that when taking future decisions regarding the project the Government will take into account all the feasibility reports on the project. (Colombo Gazette)