A writ petition filed challenging the alleged illegal constructions and filling of lands within the Muthurajawela Sanctuary was today (12) fixed for support by the Court of Appeal.

Court of Appeal two-judge-bench comprising Justice Sobhitha Rajakaruna and Justice Dhammika Ganepola fixed the petition for support on July 26.

The Court of Appeal made this order following a writ petition filed by the Centre for Environmental Justice.

In their petition, the Centre for Environmental Justice and its Executive Director  Withanage Don Hemantha Ranjith Sisira Kumara named Central Environmental Authority, Minister of Environment, Minister of Wild Life and Forest Conservation and nine others as respondents.

The petitioners are seeking an interim order directing the respondents to stay any further dumping of waste and the filling of lands within the Muthurajawela Sanctuary.

Filing this petition through Counsel Ravindranath Dabare, the petitioners alleged that a landfilling racket has been going on for years mainly due to the fact that the said sanctuary is situated at a prime location, in the close vicinity to Port City, highway, other development projects and Colombo. This illegal landfilling had become a large-scale racket with the blessings of the politicians and government officials.

Petitioners further state that it has been brought to their attention that recently an extent of approximately 50 acres within the Muthurajawela Sanctuary, situated in the

Grama Niladhari Division of Wawala and within the Ja-Ela Divisional Secretariat has been demarcated for reclamation by the Private Development Company who had earlier attempted to illegally acquire 406 acres from the Sanctuary for the construction of a housing scheme, with the acquiescence of the Agrarian Services Department.


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