In Northern sanctuary of Wilpattu national park and in the Marachukkaddi or Karadikkuli Reserved Forest Stands west ward of Wilpattu blocks II and IV has been cleared, divided into plots, paved roads and has established unauthorized settlements making irreparable damage to the whole environment and eco system and wildlife habitats.
Wilpattu case was filed in 2015 against of Conservator of Forest, Director of Wildlife Department, Commissioner General of Land and few others and Attorney General for allowing illegal resettlements in a forest reserved area. In this matter, a special focus was on the absence of provisions for respondents to release the land within a national park & reserved for forest areas.
Former Minister Rishard Bathiuddeen and others tried to publish a new gazette declaring the remaining forest area as a forest reservation excluding the areas where people have been resettled on the clearing forest adjoining Wilpattu National park. The court allowed to rescind/withdraw the said Gazette of extra ordinary 1779/15 of 10th October 2012. Petitioner totally objected to this move.
This case was taken before Hon. Justice Samayawardena on 23rd January 2020 and it was transferred to Hon. Justice Janak De Silva and Hon. Justice Bandula Karunarathna. This case was taken with another similar case (CA WRT 126/14) on 12th February 2020 for further hearing and all the Respondents concluded their oral submissions by 19th February 2020. Next date was fixed for written submissions on 18th March 2020and the judgment on 03rd April 2020.(END)