Protests are growing over a private sugar cane cultivation in Dehigama, Rideemali-yadda, where lands from the Madhuru Oya forest will be allocated. Environmentalists and villagers conducted a religious ritual to protect the trees of the forest. According to their belief the trees cannot be felled after these religious observances are held.
A large number of Buddhist priests visited the Madhuru Oya forest amidst chanting of seth pirith to perform the ritual. The trees were draped with robes and ordained as part of the ritual. More than 62,000 acres are to be allocated for the sugar cane plantation.
Pix and text by Nayanajeewa Bandara