Residents blamed for Kokilai destruction

Environmentalists yesterday blamed the residents of the Pulmoddai-Kuchaveli Pradeshiya Sabha area for the destruction of a large section of the Kokilai Bird Sanctuary.

"Most of the people involved in clearance are residents within a nine-kilometre radius. Some of the Muslim farmers too were involved in it," a senior resident said.

Following yesterday’s The Island exposure, Environment Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa instructed authorities to act swiftly.

The Island reliably learns that the Minister had inquired from senior citizens on the outcome.

They had said that they were unable to even photograph the area to show the damage caused because it was under surveillance of thugs on motor bicycles.

On Monday, nearly 1,000 acres were bulldozed destroying between 2,000 and 3,000 Weaver bird nests forever.

Then the cleared areas were torched with petrol immediately, residents said.

Neighbouring the sanctuary are farming lands which act as a blanket for the culprits. The sanctuary has about 6,000 acres, "We ask the authorities to act immediately," they said.

We fear there is a hidden political hand behind all this, a senior citizen said.

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