Champika: ‘Don’t vote for polluters’
Environment and Natural Resources Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka advised the public yesterday to avoid voting the candidates who pollute the environment at the upcoming General Elections.
“We advise the public to vote for those who don’t pollute the environment with posters, polythene, fire crackers, alcohol and drugs or other pollutants, and instead vote for those who follow ethics and discipline in the country,” Minister Ranawaka told a media conference yesterday.
The Minister said a large number of the country’s’ assets were being exploited, especially with posters and cutouts for election propaganda.
He advised the public to think twice about whom they will be voting, taking these factors into consideration and vote for an intelligent and decent candidate.
“No pollution to the eyes, ears, mouth or mind,” the Minister said.
Minister Ranawaka elaborated that polyvinyl chloride was a chemical contained in polythene thus they shouldn’t be dumped into the normal garbage dumps, but should be delivered to the Municipal Council or Urban Council branches.
At the media conference he also announced he was going to sign the nomination pages for the General Elections and he said he intended to carry out an environment friendly election campaign.
The Minister also opened a Bird Sanctuary in Beddagana yesterday morning with the inauguration of the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity (IYB), in order to preserve extincting organisms in the western province, especially in Colombo.
“We hope that this will benefit the residents of the area and we intend on building more sanctuaries in the outskirts of Colombo for the public to visit and also to preserve nature” he said.
With the launch of the 2010 IYB yesterday, the ministry’s Environmental Secretariat released a book on the action plan for conservation of biodiversity, posters, calendars and stickers. Agriculture Minister Udaya Gammanpila also graced the event.
The IYB was lunched with the co-ordination of Conservation of Forest and Wildlife Authority and Central Environmental Authority.
At the opening he also mentioned that Global Warming has become a threat to biodiversity, mainly due to human activity, as a result large numbers of animals are becoming extinct.
“This is due to lack of eco-corridors, which we are incorporating in our action plan for biodiversity,” minister stated.
Minister Gammanpila said the least environmental pollution and damage to biodiversity was in the western province.
As a solution, the minister said they had planned to set up a 450 acre village garden at Homagama (30 minutes from the Homagama town) which would grow all plants in Sri Lanka that could be grown in the Western region.
The village will have men and women wearing traditional dresses who will live normal lives celebrating weddings and having funerals within the village.
To ensure the maintenance of the garden, Minister proposed that they would make it a tourist attraction, where foreigner can dress like the traditional men and women and gain an experience.
The Garden will grow all fruits, vegetable and grain known in the country.
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