Jayawickrama Perera 'Explains' Reasons For Wildlife DG Pilapitiya's Resignation

Minister of Sustainable Development and Wildlife Gamini Jayawickrama Perera refuted allegations that Wildlife Department Director General Dr. Sumith Pilapitiya resigned due to any political interference.

A statement signed by the Media Secretary refuted the allegation that Minister Sajith Premadasa made this interference in the Wildlife Department, which made the DG to resign.

According to certain media reports, Wildlife minister Gamini Jayawickrama Perera has exerted pressure on warden of the Yala wildlife park Suranga Ratnayake to apologize to minister Sajith Premadasa.

Accordingly, wildlife officers recently arrested a group of poachers who had killed a leopard and were in the act of removing its teeth. Later, they were found to be followers of minister Premadasa and Ramanayake was allegedly made to come to parliament to apologize to Premadasa.

However, Jayawickrama Perera rejected these claims and said that he was prepared for an open debate on the said claims.

Premadasa informs the Wildlife Department of any poachers if he receives such information, Perera also claimed, adding that the said raid was also conducted on a tip-off given by Premadasa. 

Perera said that Dr. Pilapitiya resigned disappointed at the court decision to provisionally release 15 elephants kept in possession by various individuals without licenses.

However, the earlier Magistrate Court decision to release the elephants had been stayed by the Colombo High Court by the time Dr. Pilapitiya resigned. The case regarding the 15 elephants will be taken up again at the High Court tomorrow.

© 2017 Asian Mirror (pvt) Ltd