Leader of the Pivithuru Hela Urumaya, Udaya Gammanpila stated that as a member of a party that cares about the environment, he whole heartedly salutes the decision brought in to ban polythene bags.
He further reminisced upon the time he was taken to court when he had held the position of the Minister of Environment in 2008, for imposing a price on polythene bags across the country, during a media briefing held today (13).
Gammanpila added that back when he was appointed as the Environmental Minister, he banned the use of polythene and plastic in the premises of the ministry. He also stated that he provided effective alternatives to polythene, where he used the donation of orange and white fabric to be used as flags at funeral houses, as an example.
He went onto say that the right thing had been done using the wrong approach, by the present government.
Gammanpila stated that an alternative solution to the use of polythene bags cannot be produced in the space of six weeks, especially as a large number is required due to its extensive use. Moreover, workers employed by the polythene manufacturing industries do not have time to look for alternative options in such a small space of time- and that a time period of at least three months is required for this change to take place.
He further added that by executing a good idea without giving it proper thought, would make the public turn against the decision, which would lead to the repealing of the decision, harming the environment. Hence the way the government had gone about implementing this plan is wrong.
Furthermore, addressing the issue regarding the arresting of the former Navy Media Spokesperson D.K.P. Dassanayake, Gammanpila added that he was a well respected individual in the Navy, and immensely helped the government win the civil war at the time. He stated that Dassanayake has been wrongfully accused of being responsible for the abduction and disappearance of the 11 young girls.
He further added that this was merely an attempt made by supporters of the L.T.T.E to get back at the individuals who helped defeat the L.T.T.E, using the government.
Gammanpila went on to say that behaviour of this nature defames the role of the defense forces in the country, making it less likely to attract individuals to join the defense forces in the future.