Amaraweera seeks amendment of Environmental Act
By Thameenah Razeek
Minister of Environment Mahinda Amaraweera said he had requested the Attorney General to amend the existing Environmental Act expeditiously, to increase the penalties against those who harm the environment.
Meanwhile, to receive complaints quickly, Amaraweera has taken steps to introduce three direct telephone numbers and a mobile phone number, to inform the Ministry of Environment about any environmental damage.
The Ministry has taken these steps, after considering the Media reports that more environmental damage has occurred in recent times. Addressing the Media yesterday (15), Amaraweera urged the public to contact the Ministry, the Central Environmental Authority, the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau and the Minister on 1991, 1981, 1921 and 0707555666.
The Minister urged to send a WhatsApp message or a video to the above contact numbers.
“A majority of the reports on some social media outlets which highlight environmental damage are untrue. I observed instances where private lands of 10-15 acres, which had been left uncultivated for many years, were being cleared for cultivation and were also referred to as deforestation,” he said.
Five actual incidents of environmental damage were reported and the Government has enforced the law against all of them, he said.