(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has instructed the officials to immediately halt the cultivation of oil palm if it is harmful to the environment, regardless of the income it makes.
The President has given these instructions while participating in the first meeting of a series of District Coordinating Committee Meetings organized to address the issues of the people in each district at the Rajagiri Len Viharaya, Homadola, Udugama in the Galle District Thursday (27).
President Rajapaksa on his way to the venue of the meeting had inquired from the people gathered about the issues they were facing. The people have complained about negative environmental impact of palm cultivation which had resulted in the scarcity of water in villages.
The President’s attention has been drawn to this issue as the first item in the meeting and the President has instructed the officials to carry out a proper environmental study and take immediate action to stop the cultivation of oil palm if it poses threat to environment.
There were protests in several parts of the island in the past demanding the government to ban oil palm cultivation. The people claim that due to the cultivation of oil palm, the springs in their areas have dried up.