Wildlife officers attached to eight trade unions launch strike

By Vyshnavy Velrajh

Wildlife officers attached to eight trade unions launched an islandwide token strike today.

Prabash Karunathileke from the Nallathanniya Wildlife office of the Wildlife Conservation Department told Colombo Gazette that the strike has been launched to protest the actions of State Minister of Wildlife Wimalaweera Dissanayake with an aim of protecting the environment.

The protesting Wildlife officers charge that attempts are underway to construct a road through the Flood Plains National Park in Polonnaruwa, and to also allocate land for farming and cattle to graze within the National Park.

The Wildlife officers in charge of the National Park had objected to the moves and had met with State Minister Dissanayake in Polonnaruwa yesterday to discuss the issue, during which the latter had used unsuitable language, Karunathileke said.

He said the Wildlife officers have charged that as the authorities in charge are failing to protect the environment, they have taken it upon themselves to protest against such moves.

Stating that the State Minister is threatening and forcing them to accept his decisions, which are harmful to the environment, the Wildlife officers have decided to voice their objection through the protest.

Prabash Karunathileke added that Wildlife officers will not accept the decisions taken by the State Minister as its implementation will cause wide scale damages to the environment of the National Park. (Colombo Gazette)