‘Protect Wilpattu’ protest today.

A collective of activists and senior artistes are expected to come together today (14), under the banner ‘Protect Wilpattu’, to protest the alleged deforestation that is taking place adjacent to the National Park.

The collective of activists will convene in front of the Viharamahadevi Park, Colombo 07 to protest the alleged deforestation of forest reserves that surround the Wilpattu National Park.

Yesterday (13), several senior artistes, who assembled at a press briefing, emphasized that nearly 3,500 acres of forest reserve surround the area. The collective further accentuated that the group is not against the resettlement of families into five small villages on the border of the national park. They however called on the Government to stop further encroachment of the forest areas. Actor Ravindra Randeniya claimed: “We have no additional agenda other than the protection of our environment in the same manner as our ethnicity, religion and culture. Like many other programmes and movements before us, we will be labelled off as racist and nationalistic. But our drive is not that and it will not change.”

Similarly, actor Shriyantha Mendis also noted that it is high time that the Government provided ‘mature solutions’ to this ongoing problem, instead of attempting to achieve political mileage through it.

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