State Minister of Wildlife Protection Wimalaweera Dissanayake says he will resign as State Minister on the 20th of August next year if the damages caused by wild elephant attacks are not reduced by 50 percent by next year.
The State Minister speaking during the Committee Stage Debate on the 2022 Budget in Parliament today said 4,600km of fences have been installed while on the 16th another 1,500km of fences will be erected.
The State Minister said government funds were not used to erect the fences adding that Budget allocations of the Ministry were returned to the Treasury.
He claimed that regardless of the extent of fences erected, attacks by wild elephants ruin the fences and are futile attempts.
State Minister Dissanayake said in 2019, 2,143 incidents of wild elephant attacks were reported, in 2020 1,887, and thus far in 2021 1,320 incidents have been reported.
State Minister Dissanayake said 20 percent of the national food supply is destroyed due to elephant attacks adding the country cannot move forward as there is no solution to this concern.