Minister of Agriculture, Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation, Mahinda Amaraweera yesterday (08) instructed the Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs.Chandra Herath to take steps to provide compensation to the two wildlife officers who were killed due to elephant attacks at the Elephant Transit Home (“Eth Athuru Sevana”) and Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage.
The Wildlife Department has decided to award Rs.200, 000 to the family of the wildlife officer who died at “Eth Athuru Sevana”, although he was not a permanent employee.
Minister Mahinda Amaraweera advised the Secretary Mrs.Chandra Herath to make necessary amendments to those ordinances to facilitate the provision of compensation to temporary workers as there is no provision in accordance with the Wildlife Act to provide compensation to those working on casual basis if they die while on duty. The Minister informed the Secretary that he would take steps to obtain the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers by submitting a cabinet paper to include the amendments.
Since the wildlife officer who died at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is a permanent government employee, there is a possibility of awarding compensation to the said officer as he died in the course of duty. Accordingly, the Wildlife Department has the ability to provide compensation for the afore-stated officer too.