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The Director General of Wildlife Conservation and the Head of Legal Department has failed to give a proper answer when the environmentalists had asked whether an investigation is being conducted over the death of a deer which was hit by the vehicle of Minister Mahinda Amaraweera at Udawalawe National Park a few months ago.

A group of environmentalists including Nayanaka Ranwella and Senior Advisor of the Centre For Environmental Justice Hemantha Vithanage met with Director General of Wildlife Conservation Chandana Sooriyabandara Yesterday (26) and held a discussion regarding the investigations being carried out in relation to the incident where animals in Yala National Park were harassed by a group of people arrived in jeeps.

Both the Director General and the Head of Legal Department have failed to give a proper answer about the progress of the investigation.

They have informed the environmentalists that an investigation is being conducted by the Southern Wildlife Zone over the incident. 

However, the environmentalists said the Wildlife Conservation Department cannot be expected to carry out a proper investigation on the Yala incident, since they have not been able to conduct a proper investigation into the Udawalawe incident.

The environmentalists also said that the Director General that the Wildlife Conservation Department’s actions seemed passive regarding the Yala incident.

When the environmentalists had asked the Director General if the son of Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation Minister Mahinda Amaraweera was involved in the Yala incident, he had said it has not been determined yet.

Following the discussion, Environmentalist Ranwella said,”They told us that they are still investigating the Yala incident. When asked if Minister Mahinda Amaraweera’s son was involved in this incident, they said that they are investigating that too. They neither denied nor accepted the fact that there was a minister’s son involved.

“There should be a more formal investigation into this incident. It is clear that this group has behaved recklessly and violated the laws within Yala National Park. If the investigations are not conducted properly, we have to make a more formal objection in a scientific manner.

Also, a deer which was hit by the vehicle of Minister Amaraweera has died. We are disappointed to note the death of animals by the vehicle driven by the drivers of the Minister of Wildlife. Action in this regard is still in unsatisfactory,” Ranwella said.

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