Cabinet defends Forest Department officer

Friday, 14 February 2020
The cabinet has defended a Forest Department officer who refused to bend the rules following pressure from a State Minister and residents in Negombo.
Cabinet spokesman Bandula Gunawardena told reporters today that the cabinet stands by her decision and will protect her.
A Forest Department officer had this week refused to violate the law and approve the construction of a playground in a mangrove area in Negombo despite pressure from a State Minister.
A video going viral on social media shows the female officer, identified as Gampaha District Forest Officer Devanee Jayathilaka, standing her ground despite pressure from a group of villagers to release land to construct a playground for children.
State Minister Sanath Nishantha is seen at the discussion urging the officer to step down from the stand she is taking on the issue.
Gunawardena said that no action will be taken on the State Minister as what transpired between him and the Forest Department officer was only a discussion and was not violent.