Sanctuary land grab: President hoodwinked?

Plans are underway to degazette more land area from the Dahayiyagala sanctuary which acts as a corridor for the elephants in the Udawalawa National Park and Lunugamwehere National Park.

A senior official of the Forest Department told The Island yesterday that despite their objections, land clearance was continuing and already between 250 and 300 acres of forest had been destroyed.

Villagers would meet the Forest Department officials tomorrow to spell out their stance, he said, adding that some villagers had been forced by local politicians to part with their land.

Elephants frequently used the corridor for reaching the ‘salt lick’ at the Bogaha Pattiya area, an authority on Elephants, Supun Lahiru Prakash of the Biodiversity Conservation and Research Circle told The Island.

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