Prez to ban ‘Wadu Madu’and chain saws

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - FRONT PAGE - BY SANDUN A. JAYASEKERA

Le­gal and ad­min­is­tra­tive steps would be taken by the gov­ern­ment shortly to pro­hibit the im­port of tree cutting ma­chines, chain and me­chan­i­cal saws and car­pen­ter sheds pop­u­larly known as ‘Wadu Maduwa’ to pro­tect en­vi­ron­ment and in par­tic­u­lar the for­est den­sity of the country, Pres­i­dent Maithri­pala Sirisena de­clared yes­ter­day.

He added that peo­ple would have to im­port fur­ni­ture as de­for­esta­tion and tree cutting would be banned fully.

De­liv­er­ing the key­note ad­dress at a cer­e­mony held to mark the ‘World En­vi­ron­ment Day 2019’ un­der the theme, Min­i­miz­ing of Air Pol­lu­tion Through Sus­tain­able For­est Man­age­ment’ at the BMICH last morn­ing, Pres­i­dent Sirisena went on to say that if these mea­sures were taken and im­ple­mented for ten years, the for­est den­sity of Sri Lanka could be in­creased to an en­vi­ron­ment friendly 32% from the cur­rent not so sat­is­fac­tory 28%.

“A few months ago I went to a fu­neral house at Ku­rune­gala. A poor look­ing old per­son ap­proached me and asked, ‘Sir you are the En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter?’ and I said ‘yes’. He again said you work hard to pro­tect en­vi­ron­ment and forests, don’t you?. Yes, no one can cut trees with­out my per­mis­sion, I said. Then he said cutting of hun­dreds of trees us­ing chain saws in many parts of the country round the year was a com­mon sight ev­ery­where. If you want to stop cutting of trees in a hap­haz­ard man­ner you must do some­thing for this. It was after this poor ci­ti­zen drew my at­ten­tion to the harm done to our forests us­ing chain saws that I de­cided to reg­is­ter chain saws at Di­vi­sional Sec­re­tar­iats and ob­tain per­mits to use them to re­strict the use of chain saws. As a fur­ther mea­sure to put an end to this de­struc­tion I will also pro­hibit the im­port of chain saws, tree cutting ma­chines and main­tain­ing of car­pen­ter shops,” Pres­i­dent Sirisena stressed. He said no of­fi­cial, even from the En­vi­ron­ment Min­istry, For­est De­part­ment or Cen­tral En­vi­ron­ment Author­ity (CEA) ed­u­cated him on the dam­age done to Sri Lanka’s forests by chain saws un­til this per­son did it. When laws to reg­is­ter chain saws were made ef­fec­tive, 82000 chains saws had been reg­is­tered is­land wide in three weeks.

The air qual­ity in­dex in New Delhi was 113 par­ti­cle mat­ters and in La­hore it was 114, in Wash­ing­ton DC it was 8 and in Colombo 32. We must try our best to bring Colombo to the level of Wash­ing­ton DC

PICS BY KUSHAN PATHIRAJA

A school girl who won an En­vi­ron­ment Day com­pe­ti­tion re­ceives a fi­nan­cial gift from Pres­i­dent Maithri­pala Sirisena

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