Colombo Telegraph is now in a position to reveal that Minister Sajith Premadasa, a senior member of the yahapalanaya government and the Deputy Leader of the United National Party, is behind the protest launched by Yala Safari drivers demanding unhindered access to the wildlife park.
The protest took place after measures by the Wildlife authorities to limit the number of jeeps entering into the national park, home to some of most endangered animals in the country.
The authorities said only 100 jeeps would be allowed in the morning and another 100 would be allowed in the evening.
Before the new regulation was introduced, over 500 jeeps approached the Yala national park, on a daily basis, sometimes causing traffic jams in the jungle.
Many environmentalists stressed the need for strict regulations to limit the number of vehicles entering into the park, as it would pose a serious threat to flora and fauna.
The Safari jeep owners, who are now demanding the government to scrap the new environmental regulations on Yala, held a meeting with Premadasa on Sunday Night.
When the demonstration commenced on Monday morning, a group of Premadasa supporters were also among the protesters.
Preamadasa, a regular face at the Yala National Park, is known to be a strong supporter of the Safari jeep owners in the area.
Premadasa has come under serious flak with wildlife enthusiasts on several occasions for flouting the laws of the national park and obstructing the path of other wildlife enthusiasts, during his famous Safari sessions.
A wildlife enthusiast alleged on Facebook that the UNP Minister, on one occasion, had parked his vehicle in a manner that obstructed other enthusiasts from passing by and had also opened his sunroof while taking pictures, in violation off Yala National Park law. (By Uthpala Elikewala)