President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has instructed officials to provide a permanent solution within two years for the human-elephant conflict. The human-elephant conflict which is faced by the people in many districts have been discussed for nearly 40 years. Despite many solutions, it has not been solved. Therefore, the President has emphasised the need to find a solution which protects both the humans and elephants. The President mentioned this during a discussion today on the future plans of the Ministry of Wild Life Protection, Elephant Fence, Security Process and Recultivation of Forests. The discussion took place at the Presidential Secretariat. 122 lives have been lost during the last year due to the storming of the villages by the elephants. 407 elephants have also died. 62 lives have been lost during the last eight months. 200 elephants have died. Therefore, the President pointed out the threats to cultivations, lives and the elephants are immense. The Wild Life Department has 1.2 million hectares of forest lands under its purview. The department is entrusted with looking after the animal feed. The President expressed his surprise for the Field Officers being unable to find solutions or strategies for the long term issue. A committee has been appointed to protect cultivations and lives by preventing wild elephants entering the villages. Discussions took at length on conserving mangroves and enhancing the growth. The President said that laws should be relaxed to provide benefits when growing mangroves. Head of the Presidential Task Force on Economic Resurgence Basil Rajapaksa pointed out the importance of growing grass near tanks at forest reserves. Attention was paid on giving permission to the people in the area to mine sands in rivers in controlled manner.
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