The Left Voice strongly condemns the questioning of Bhagya Abeyratne by the police and wildlife officials regarding her statements made during a program on Sirasa “Lakshapathi” against the environmental destruction taking place in the Sinharaja forest these days. Instead of taking action against those responsible for the ongoing deforestation in the country, the government is hunting down those who expose the devastation. Since the present government came to power, its followers have been destroying forests, excavating mountains and rivers to get soil and sand all over the country. There is a backing for all these from Gotabhaya to the lowest grade officials. Threats to silence government officials and environmentalists who speak out against these environmental destruction continue to grow. It is worth mentioning that the revelation made by a school girl like Bhagya in a TV program was very popular among environmentalists. This was also a major blow to the government.
Here we are reminded of the speech made by 18-year-old Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg at the United Nations Environment Conference in 2018 against the destruction of the environment by companies and individuals around the world for easy profit. Her speech was also criticized by then US President Donald Trump. Bhagya’s speech against environmental destruction was a challenge to allies of Gotabhaya, an American puppet of Sri Lanka who is going along the path of Trump on his own. So the government will take steps to silence not only her but other environmentalists like her. Therefore, protecting people like Bhagya is another step towards protecting the environment. We urge every leftist and every environmentalist to come forward to protect her.