(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – Mahinda Amaraweera, Minister of Environment has stated that discussions and meetings held by the Ministry of Environment will no longer be held in auditoriums but will be held outdoors.
Our country gets good sunlight till 7 to 08 hours during the day. But in all our offices are open under the electricity lights. Our country is a windy country. But our offices air conditioners are on all day. National wealth and resources are being wasted. Therefore, we, as the Ministry of Environment, have decided that from now on, all discussions and meetings of the staff officers will be held in the beautiful Wana Arana within our Ministry premises, the Minister said.Accordingly, for the first time, a sapling seed planting programme was held in the beautiful forest area at the premises of the Ministry of Environment yesterday.
Due to the thicket, the environment was very cool even during the day and all the officials appreciated the programme. Buddhist and Hindu clergymen representing the clergy also attended the event and appreciated the new experience.The Minister who addressed the gathering-Every government and private institution in our country has more two or three auditoriums. There are also a number of conference halls in each city. The majority of the schools have auditoriums. The government spends a lot of money annually to maintain these buildings. But if you have to hold a meeting in a ministry or a department, five star hotels are used for that. They are spent separately.We need to change this tradition.
Even an international conference can be held outdoors in a beautiful ecological zone. I think it can explain to our people the responsibility and need to protect the environment.So I decided that what we really needed to do was learn how to do it right. When I was the Minister of Fisheries, I completely stopped using five star hotels for meetings. We held them in public sector auditoriums. But today we decided to hold the inaugural ceremony of this auspicious plant program in this beautiful forest. It is 11 o’clock in the morning. Even so, owning one is still beyond the reach of the average person.Even so, owning one is still beyond the reach of the average person. This type of tree can be easily set up in all public and private office premises.In our country there is no need to cultivate forests with special attention. We have a fertile land that grows leaves, even if it is a discarded stalk. The problem is that we have not yet made proper use of that land.We have built buildings with daytime running lights and air conditioning. Like broiler chickens. Nothing can be done without lights. However, we do not take proper advantage of them in a beautiful environment, he said.
The Minister further said that we should introduce our younger generation to this new culture. If we want to create a generation that loves the environment, loves plants, loves wildlife and birds, we need to teach them how to live with the environment.Today some people think of the environment as a source of pocket money. Especially some politicians and businessmen. Cut the sand. Cutting clay. Breaking rocks, cutting soil. They come to the queue asking for licenses. Some people want to fill their pockets even if they want to be exposed to the environment.I would like to remind you of one thing. People who destroy the environment have to suffer them return of the environment. That is the lesson of the 2004 tsunami. That is the lesson we can learn from the occasional landslide, ”he said.The Minister also instructed the Secretary to the Ministry, Dr. Anil Jasinghe to develop the Wana Arana discussion pavilion located in the premises of the Ministry of Environment in a suitable manner.