Opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday urged President Maithripala Sirisena to reconsider the decision to ban ‘Wadu Madu’ or carpenter-workshops and chainsaws.
He told a news conference held at the parliament complex that if the proposal was implemented, thousands of people would lose their livelihoods and have no place to buy even a coffin.
“As the joint opposition, our stance is that if this proposal is implemented, thousands of people will lose their livelihoods and the country will lose a traditional industry. So this is not a good proposal. We can develop forest cover so that both the environment and the timber industry were protected. We can replant in place of trees felled. It has been a long practice to plant trees to obtain timber,” Mr. Rajapaksa said.
He said his government had provided relief to the timber industry by allowing them to import timber on a duty free basis and added that such facilities would be provided under his government in the future.
“Countries like Malaysia exported timber. We also can earn foreign exchange through forestry,” he said.