The Sri Lankan public and especially the environmentalists have been alleging for a long time that protected sections of Wilpattu National Park are being cleared to build settlements.
According to the charges leveled by environmental organizations, such clearing is also taking place in protected reserves on the borders of the Puttalam district.
However, State Minister Palitha Range Bandara has extended a challenge that he will resign from politics if these allegations are proven to be true.
Environmental organisations allege that these settlements are being built close to the coast, in the protected area of Wilpattu about ten kilometers towards Eluwakkulama in Puttalam from Marichchakadi, Mannar.
Several homes built in this area and a new road were declared open by State Minister Palitha Range Bandara on September 10, 2017.