State Resources and Enterprise Development Ministry of Sri Lanka has decided to chop down and sell nearly 70,000 trees on Government-owned plantations, to pay the unpaid Employment Provident Fund and Employment Trust Funds dues.
The remaining trees in the plantations are located in the stream banks and acting against soil erosion and as the habitats for the remaining wildlife. Unless these are saved, the soil in this hill country will be totally damaged and further massive earth slips are very possible in the next monsoon season.
It is fundamentally wrong to cut down trees, which act as an important water catchment for the entire country in order to pay for the wrongs committed by those who were in charge of looking after the EPF and ETF funds. Surely, these persons who have mismanaged the plantations bringing about this situation, should be answerable and not the trees and the Natural Environment.
We therefore, strongly request Minister Dayashritha Tissera, Ministry of State Resources and Enterprise Development and the Cabinet of Ministers, to halt this decision and find other means to pay the plantation workers rather than trying to take revenge on the trees for the management failures.