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Sunday, April 18, 2021

Sri Lanka: 323 ‘environmental officers’ to monitor environment destruction posts on social media

Both false and accurate information posted on social media on incidents of environment destruction will be kept under watch by a new unit to be set up by the Environment Ministry.

To carry out the task, 323 ‘environmental officers’ would be recruited at Divisional Secretariat level, Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera told the Sunday Times.

He said those posting false information would face legal action while accurate information would be referred to the relevant sections for action against those responsible for the damage. The minister said these measures were being taken as false information was being shared on social media about incidents of clearing forests, illegal mining, illegal constructions and landfilling.

“Sharing of false information will not be possible as persons will be dealt with under the law,” Mr Amaraweera said.

He said one officer would be recruited to each of the 323 divisional secretariat areas and they would be required to co-ordinate with environmental activists in the respective areas to verify information.

Mr Amaraweera claimed that some of the cases of environment destruction in foreign countries had been portrayed as incidents that had occurred in Sri Lanka.

However, environmentalists said the social media had posted a large number of environment-destruction-related incidents and most of them were found to be accurate.

Sunday Times

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