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Army Commander orders conservation of over 200 threatened herbs

Army Commander Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake has ordered troops to help conserve more than 200 varieties of indigenous herbs, now threatened by extinction, following a request by reputed Anuradhapura Ayurvedic physician Dr. S. S. Gunawardene.

The commander made this order to the Army Directorate of Agriculture and Livestock (DAL) Commander, the Army media unit said.

Accordingly, the Army Directorate of Agriculture has come forward to assist the re-cultivation of those species of plants in Oyamaduwa in the Anuradhapura area after the Army collected those rare herbal saplings from every corner of the island.

Army troops in the DAL, in close cooperation with the Indigenous Medicine Department, launched the project for cultivation of those plants a few days ago in a land belonging to Dr. Gunawardene in Oyamaduwa with the active support of professionally-qualified agricultural instructors at the Army-run ‘Manic Farm’ in Vavuniya.

To be in line with the national ‘Wana Ropa’ project of the Environment Ministry under the ‘Haritha Gammana’ concept, the project was made a reality under the guidance of DAL Director Brigadier Buwaneka Gunaratne after the DAL collected those rare herbal saplings such as sudu hadun, rath hadun, beli, beraliya, beheth anoda, madatiya, thippili, kekirinda, dodampana, gansooriya, and mahahinna

Troops of the 21 Division at Anuradapura also joined DAL troops on Friday (5) in Oyamaduwa and assisted the cultivation work in Dr Gunawardene’s land of about 2 acres in extent. The simple inaugural ceremony was held under the directions of the Security Forces - Wanni (SF-W) Commander Major General Kumudu Perera and under the supervision of 21 Division General Officer Commanding (GOC) Major General Ruwan de Silva who attended the inaugural ceremony as the chief Guest.

‘Seth Pirith’ chanting and religious observances were administered by Thammanna Viharaya Incumbent Ven. Meepawala Sirisumana Thera to invoke blessings on the project.