Alienation of forest land: Green Movement takes ministry secy to court

By Chitra Weerarathne

The Green Movement of Sri Lanka, yesterday complained to the Court of Appeal that the Secretary to the Ministry of Environment and Energy had violated the Forest Act by issuing a letter dated February 14, 2014 to release 2,500 acres of forest land in Mannar, Mullathivu and Vavuniya areas to resettle Muslim villagers.

In the letter written to the District Secretary of Mannar, the petitioner has said that the environmental balance is eroded when forests are destroyed and further those forest lands were of archaeological value.

The petitioner has requested the Court to issue a writ to quash the letter written by the Ministry Secretary, which the petitioner says is bad in law.

Among the respondent are the secretary to the Ministry of Environment and Renewable Energy, B. M. U. D. Basnayake, the Forest Conservator Anura Sathurusinghe, Director General of the Department of Archaeology, Dr. Senarath Dissanayake and the Commissioner of Lands R. P. R. Rupasinghe.

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