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SLAF led aerial observations to curb deforestation - Defence Secretary

November 25, 2020
  • Special unit set up to net the persons involved in land grabbing

Raising concerns into widespread illegal forest resources degradation, Defence Secretary Maj. Gen. (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne said, attention into deforestation is imperative and it is vital to identify such attempts before logging.

He said, “The President has alerted Tri-Forces and Police to thwart such attempts and therefore it would be monitored using aerial assets of the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF)”.

The Defence Secretary while addressing the District Secretaries/Government Agents at the Internal Security, Home Affairs and Disaster Management State Ministry in Narahenpita today (Nov 25) urged “We must safeguard our resources for future generations.

He also requested District Secretaries/Government Agents to be vigilant and stand against the deterioration of the environment leading to depletion of forest resources.

The Defence Secretary, mentioning the recent upsurge in land grabbing incidents, stressed that a special unit has been set up to net the persons involved in the land grabbing.

While praising the pivotal role played by the District Secretaries to contain the spread of the highly contagious virus amidst hardships, he said  District Secretaries of the minimally  spread districts had taken a great effort to limit the contamination of the virus to their areas.

“Meanwhile, District Secretaries and Divisional Secretaries with their staffers in the virus hit regions too had taken a great effort to contain the spread while facilitating the isolated families”, he added.

Maj. Gen. Gunaratne also stated that District Secretaries/Government Agents of Colombo, Kalutara and Gampaha districts have also taken prompt actions consulting the state authorities and National Operations Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) to prevent the pandemic spread.
Mentioning that the government propelled mechanism entailed unforeseen expenses to facilitate the community, he said, regional state authorities have facilitated the self-quarantine households irrespective of their economic backgrounds since they are not allowed to contact the outsiders.

Highlighting the complete recovery of the former virus cluster of the Navy, within the camps for an example, the Defence Secretary reasoned, “The virus spread in Bogambara Prison has been controlled so far since they were not exposed to the outside community”.

Further speaking at the meeting, the Defence Secretary requested the District Secretaries/Government Agents to educate the citizens to adhere to the healthcare guidelines issued by the Health Ministry while limiting unwanted movements.