19A empowers Forest Officers to resist political pressure – Kiriella

Lakshman Kiriella

Gampaha District Assistant Conservator of Forests, Devani Jayatilleke was able to withstand political pressure and refuse to release a mangrove for the construction of a playground in Negombo because of the independence that the 19th Amendment to Constitution had conferred on government servants, the UNP said yesterday.

Senior UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella said that the Independent Public Service Commission established as a result of the 19th Amendment, introduced by the last Ranil Wickremesinghe government, had empowered public servants and a classic example was Devani Jayatilleke refusing to bow down to an attempt by State Minister of Fisheries  Sanath Nishantha Perera to build a playground on a section of Mangrove Forest.

He warned that attempts by the Rajapaksa administration to dilute the 19th Amendment and deny the people of their hard fought rights would be resisted tooth and nail.

(Source: The Island – By Zacki Jabbar)