Hambantota farmers launch death fast

Farmers in Walsapugala, Hambantota commenced a fast unto death protest today (20).

The protest was launched demanding solutions to the human-elephant conflict (HEC) in the area.

The farmers initially launched a protest on Monday (18) demanding that the proposed Wild Elephant Reserve in Hambantota be included in the Government Gazette.

Commenting on the protest, Sports Affairs Minister Namal Rajapaksa yesterday (19) said demands by the protesting farmers were justified.

He further said the proposed Wild Elephant Reserve will be included in the Government Gazette in the near future.

Minister of Wildlife and Forest Conservation C.B. Rathnayake recently tabled a Cabinet Memorandum on the matter, while the Mahaweli Authority has been granted a period of one month to revert with their recommendations in this regard.

Stating that the proposed Wild Elephant Management Reserve in Hambantota was planned and approved back in 2012 when he was the District Development Committee Chair, Minister Namal Rajapaksa said no progress was made over the last five years. (Colombo Gazette)

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