(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – The Minister of Agriculture, Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation, Mr. Mahinda Amaraweera, has instructed the Director General of Wildlife to implement the law with immediate effect regarding a group of tourists who recklessly drove around in vehicles harassing the wild animals in the Yala National Park.
The guides who accompanied the tour group and all the officials who failed to control the situation have been suspended.
The Minister has also advised to start an investigation in to the guides, trackers and other officials who did not intervene when driving vehicles in a sensitive environment in such a way that harms wild animals.
The Minister also mentioned that this group has committed serious misconduct under the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance of Sri Lanka.
Accordingly, the Secretary of the Ministry of Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation, Mrs. Chandra Herath, said that until the investigation is completed, the services of the guides who accompanied this group and the officers will be suspended and investigations will be started.
If such a mischief occurs, those officials have the ability to intervene or inform the higher officials, but they have not taken any steps for it, the Minister noted.
The minister also instructed the secretary to send a letter to the Inspector General of Police informing him to take measures to arrest the group of people who harassed the animals regardless of their status.
Meanwhile, the Minister also instructed the relevant officials Monday to focus on implementing a special program to prevent such incidents from happening again.