Defence Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa had refuted allegations that the lands of evicted slum dwellers are being utilized for commercial purpose. He was delivering the keynote address of the national ceremony organized to mark World Habitat Day.
The Defence Secretary said it is with the intention of improving the lives of these people that they have launched the programme to beautify the Colombo City. They are dedicated to this task. The programme has been undertaken after a careful study and a plan has already been formulated.
This national ceremony was held at the Jana Kala Centre at Battaramulla. Speaking further, the Defence Secretary pointed out that the slum dwellers numbering 65 thousand families will be provided a house worth 2.5 million rupees and their lives enriched. Winners of art, essay and drama competitions organized to mark World Habitat Day were presented with prize and certificates.
Minister Wimal Weerawansa addressing the ceremony pointed out that he was ready to streamline un-regularised habitats. He said whether legal or illegal, he was ready to streamline these dwellings. On this 25th habitat day, he added that they announce with pride to the entire world that Sri Lanka was ready to regularize these dwellings.
Deputy Ministers Lasantha Alagiyawanna and Weerakumara Dissanayake were present.