to taste on the sly
Illicit hunting of wild life violating environmental regulations in the Udawalawe National Park as well as the Lunugamvehera National Park has escalated by now. Hunting of deer and wild boar in these two National Parks is being carried on quite openly.
As a result, hunters in surrounding areas engaged in hunting in these National Parks supply game to restaurants on a commercial basis with the aid of village headmen and hunting of animals in the Udawalawe and Lunugamvehera National Parks has begun to increase. Hunters who get access to these Parks carry weapons and engage in hunting. It is clearly noticed that certain grama arakshaka guards and police officers give their support for such acts. Some of the people in the neighbourhood areas have mentioned that police officers in police stations around these National Parks do not take steps to put a stop to this forbidden hunting because a good quantity of hunted game is being given to them as a bribe.
It has been difficult for Wild Life officers and certain police officers to arrest these activities because they are being carried on with the support of some police officers who resort to accepting these bribes and spies of the hunters parole around these Parks to provide them with necessary information during hunting days. Negligence of police officers too have been cited by them.
According to a Clause in No.16 of the Forest Ordinance of 1907, it is an offence to gain illegal entry to a forest and to engage in hunting, the punishment for which is 01 – 05 years imprisonment. In the same way, according to the Fauna and Flora Ordinance No.2 of 1937 (amended by the Act of 1933, No.49), entering a National Park and hunting is a punishable offence. When the law clearly designates these offences, it is a serious issue as to how such offenders gain entry to these Parks without permission and according to their whims and fancies and resort to hunting game with or without the knowledge of the police and officers of the Wild Life.