Will Wilpattu destruction topple Maithri’s good governance?
Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen lack’s perspicuity regarding his approach to the Wilpattu issue.
Several environmental organizations and civil organizations accused Minister Rishad Bathiudeen for the deforestation of the Wilpattu National Park.
Resettlement in the Kallaru forest had commenced in 2011 and 2012 under Northern Spring (Uthuru Wasanthaya) project under Minister Rishad Bathiudeen which has strongly affected the forest area.
More than 5000 acres of the National Park has been destroyed for Rishad Bathiudeen’s resettlement projects. However Rishad Bathiudeen denied the allegations.
Wilpattu National Park (Land of Lakes) is a forest reservation located 30 km west Anuradhapura and 26 km north of Puttalam (approximately 180 km north of Colombo). The park is 131, 693 hectares and is world-renowned for its leopard (Panthera pardus kotiya) population.
In Sri Lanka, the imaginary notion of Sinhalese being the "Sons of the Soil" and that other ethnic groups were allowed to live on a "temporary basis" - a concession to the non-Sinhalese and to the non-Buddhists is the ‘Chosen Syndrome’ the country is now being threaten with.
The Buddhist ‘Chosen Syndrome,’ grew with the emergence of ‘Mahavamsa Mentality,’ which espoused ‘the killing a virtue in defence of Buddhism.’
Muslims who claims ethnicity based on religion, considered complete strangers to the country’s habitat and they earned initially the wrath of the Sinhalese, due to 1915 anti-Muslim riots started in Kandy on the night of 28 May 1915, which led to the brutal suppression of the majority Sinhalese community by the British colonial authorities.
Again as an act of ethnic cleansing, the Tamil separatist organization Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam expelled the 72,000 Muslim population from the Northern Province in October 1990.
Subsequently, the latest player in the anti-Muslim campaign is Bodu Bala Sena, which was specifically formed to suppress the Muslims in Norway. Bodu Bala Sena held its first national convention on 28 July 2012, and right from the day one, they are involved in Anti-Muslim campaigns, unmindful of racial stability and also of reconciliation in the country.
Rishad Bathiutheen alleged to have used his political position and organized non-government organizations to extract funds from Arab countries and Arab organizations, for housing and other programs in the name of the Muslim IDPS and it was not favored, but the previous regime turned a blind eye to those activities, but the present regime is more permissive than even the previous regime.
Also several Sinhalese organizations, leading media groups and Sinhala leaders look with suspicion the role played by Rishad Bathiutheen regarding the housing program and his alleged involvement in the Wilpattu National Park.
In 2015 Minister Risad Bathiutheen was advised to ignore the issues pointed out by a section of the Sinhala media, but he failed to understand the implications of the issue and fell head-on in the trap laid by the vested parties.
Now that Wilpattu issue has taken a turn for worse and Rishad Bathiutheen is likely to pay the price politically and otherwise.
What is deadly in the developing Wilpattu scenario can lead to a probe of the entire family clan of Rishad Bathiutheen leading to some more unpleasant revelation that could be damaging to the Good Governance image of the regime, but greatly advantages to the opposition.
- Asian Tribune -