Special discussion on issues of the small-holder farmers

A special discussion was held with the Hon. C.B. Ratnayake and the Hon. Namal Rajapaksa, Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs at the auditorium of the Ministry of Wildlife and Forest Conservation, Rajagiriya on 11.01.2021 aiming to take immediate action to reduce the human-elephant conflict in the areas of Hambantota - Sooriyawewa Yodhakandiya - Tissamaharama - Mattala and to resolve the land issues of chena farmers and small-scale farmers in the area. Bandula Harischandra, Secretary to the Ministry of Wildlife and Forest Conservation; Major General (Retd.) Palitha Fernando, Secretary to the State Ministry; M.G.C Sooriyabandara, Director General of the Department of Wildlife Conservation; Deputy Director General of Forest Conservation, M. A. Bandara; along with officials of the Ministry and the State Ministry as well as representatives of farmers' organizations and Pradeshiya Sabhas in Hambantota - Sooriyawewa Yodhakandiya - Tissamaharama – Mattala areas were participated in this meeting. It was proposed to expedite the repairing of dilapidated electric fences to reduce human-elephant conflict, to receive the assistance of farmer organizations for the maintenance of elephant fences and elephant trenches and to construct an elephant corridor to facilitate migration of wild elephants trapped within the boundaries of elephant fences to Udawalawe. Minister Hon. Mr. C. B Ratnayake instructed the relevant officers to implement the proposals within two weeks.