Residents around the Maduru Oya National Park area allege that steps are being taken to give an area of 54,250 acres of the Park to China.
The residents have reportedly claimed that the land will be given to China to boost local industry. They stated that 43,250 acres of sugarcane would be planted and the balance land was to be used for cattle rearing.
Residents have also said that the National Wildlife Department prohibited farmers to graze cattle within the Park and added that the Department was not trying to prevent the land from being given to China because of the Government’s intervention.
Under the Right to Information Act, 172 questions have been submitted to the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment. The Ministry has requested time to answer all the questions and till now have provided answer to only 15 of the questions. The residents of the area claim that a programme to destroy the country’s ecological forests is now underway.
The residents have claimed that destruction of the local ecological system and their way of life was imminent and they have filed a case to prevent this destruction. Courts have fixed the hearing for the 27th of April and the residents have called for the support of the environmentalists.