Make Agriculture attractive to present day youth  - Asgiri Mahanatala Thera

By Cyril Wimalasurendra

KANDY – Since the present generation is not interested in agriculture it is of paramount important to take measures to make agriculture attractive for our youth, the most Venerable Mahanayaka of Asgiriya told the Agrarian Services and Wildlife Minister S. A. Chandrasena when he called on the prelates on Sunday 28.

Most Ven. Udugama Sri Buddharakhita Thera said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa had chosen Minister Chandrasena be be Minister of Agrarian Services and Wildlife because the portfolio was most suitable for him (Chandrasena) as he came from Anuradhapura, a district well-known for agricultures as well as wildlife.

The prelate said that President Rajapaksa had been most blessed with a dedicated team to execute his development programmes in the country. "It is now left to the members of his Cabinet to commit themselves to achieve President Rajapaksa’s targets."

"The most precious need of the farmer is water. It is the duty of the political leadership to satisfy the farmers engaged in the production of food for the people", the prelate said.

The Mahanayaka Thera said, "Priority should be given to the protection of the wild elephants since the animals are killed at an alarming rate when they invade the human settlements. Protection of the people from being killed by the elephants is also important, he added,".

Most Ven. Mahanayaka of Malwatta Tibbatuwave Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thera said the human-elephant conflict had been a long standing problem. Hence, a solution should be found fast.

The wild elephants are invading the adjoining towns too. It is a threat to the life of humans as well as their properties including houses and crops, the prelate said.

The Mahanayaka Thera also urged the minister to prevent the filling of cultivable lands in several parts of the country.

Minister Chandrasena responding to the requests made by the Mahanayakas said several new proposals were being studied to protect the people and the elephants.

He also told the Malwatta prelate that construction of a tank in the Teldeniya area had been completed. The work on the reservoir commenced on the request of the prelate.

The Minister paid his homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic at the Sri Dalada Maligawa where he was received by the Diyawadana Nilame Pradeep Nilanga Dela.

Chief Minister Sarath Ekanayake, Director General Agrarian Services Ravindra Hewavitharana and Secretary Ministry of Construction and Engineering Services, Gotabaya Jayaratne accompanied the minister.

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