Ishini Wickramasinghe, Director General of the Department of National Zoological Gardens has resigned from her post, a reliable source told Lankasara. Sources said that she had resigned in protest of the Attorney General’s decision to hand over 14 baby elephants in government custody due to cases of theft and illegal possession of baby elephants.
In a case related to these elephants which was heard in the Fort Magistrate’s Court recently, the Attorney General had requested for the return of 14 baby elephants to the same accused persons based on a special Government Gazette notification issued on 19th August. Permission was also sought to register in the name and the court granted permission.
However, the decision was strongly opposed by environmentalists and senior environmental lawyer Dr. Jagath Gunawardena said at a recent media briefing that the decision taken by the Attorney General was in accordance with the Wild life ordinance and was unconstitutional.
Mrs. Ishini Wickremasinghe has objected to this and has sent a letter to the Minister in charge of the subject stating that she will resign from her post. However relevant authorities have not yet confirmed whether the letter was accepted or not.
Mrs. Ishini Wickremasinghe is the daughter of TNL Rupavahini Chairman Shan Wickremasinghe, the elder brother of former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, and a woman who played a significant role in Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s presidential campaign during the last presidential election. Accordingly, at her request, she was offered the post of Director General of the National Zoo.