Businessman involved in clearing Anawilundawa Wetland Sanctuary arrested

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The businessman involved in clearing of the Anawilundawa Wetland Sanctuary in Mundalama, Puttalam has been taken into custody.

The 35-year-old arrestee is to be produced before the Chilaw Magistrate’s Court.

In the meantime, the backhoe driver, who is suspected of clearing the Anawilundawa Wetland Sanctuary, was arrested on Friday (28) at his home in Kiriyankalliya, Mundalama.

The backhoe loader used by the suspect was also taken into custody by the police.

The relevant businessman was arrested based on the information obtained from the apprehended backhoe driver.

On August 25, the mangrove ecosystem in the sanctuary has been cleared using machineries illegally. The area where the illegal activity had taken place is approximately 0.697 hectares, according to Secretary to the Ministry of Wildlife and Forest Conservation M.K .Bandula Harischandra,.

Subject Minister C.B. Rathnayake later gave instructions to take action in this regard and the wildlife officials had reported the matter to the Chilaw Magistrate’s Court.

Further investigations were subsequently launched with the police to disclose the suspects and the case items.

This 1,397-hectare land was declared as a sanctuary on 11 May 1997 in term of the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance.