Environmental organizations state that they will take legal action against several government institutions if they do not stop the music and cultural festival scheduled to be held in Habarana in a way that disturbs the wild animals. Mr. Hemantha Withanage, senior advisor of the Environmental Justice Center said that a group has planned to hold this festival on the 17th, 18th and 19th of this month near the famous elephant sanctuary in Habarana.
Mr. Hemantha Withanage, who mentioned this at a press conference held yesterday (14th) in Colombo by the merger of environmental organizations, further stated that
Although permission was initially given by the Forest Conservation Department for this program, the relevant permission has been withdrawn later. Because of this, the organizers have no legal ability to hold the festival and show at this place, he said.
Mr. Hemantha Withanage also mentioned that the police, the forest conservation department and the wildlife conservation department have been requested to stop this festival which is going to be held during the night due to the persecution of the wild animals. He said that legal action will be taken against these institutions if somehow this festival is held at the relevant place, and legal action will also be taken against the concerned official as a divisional secretary is also working in support of the relevant action.
Mr. Hemantha Withanage mentioned that there is a police circular to combat noise pollution, and because of this, the police have the ability to stop this act of using high sound waves. He said that around 150-200 elephants are killed in the elephant stand near this place, and in addition, a large number of wild animals live in this area.
Mr. Hemantha Withanage further said that it is possible to hold this festival and music show in another place, but if the relevant activities are carried out in this place by disturbing the wild animals, legal action is also planned against the organizers.
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