President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Sunday stressed that slum dwellers in Colombo will not be shifted to anywhere, and promised to provide them with better housing facilities on the same premises they live in.
It is natural that many misinformation campaigns are underway during the election time. While renovating the streets in Colombo and making the city look beautiful, the Government intends to make the lives of the Colombo people beautiful too, he said.
The President made these observations while addressing the members of the Muslim community in Colombo who visited Temple Trees together with the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) candidates running for the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) elections.
He or the Government has never deliberated on evacuating the people from Colombo, and as a person coming from a village, he understands very well the problems faced by the people, the President added. He said that Colombo is the village of those who are born in Colombo, and as such, they can never be uprooted from their home village. At present, Colombo is a clean city with daily cleaned roads and no garbage. In the mean time, measures need to be taken to uplift the living conditions of the Colombo dwellers by solving their problems, he said.
He reminded that the Muslims in the North were once driven away, but the Government resettled them with provision of all facilities within 45 days, proving the Government’s non-religions or non-ethnic biased stance.
Further he said that a Municipal Council cannot solve problems on its own. It should work in alliance with the existent government. It fails to serve the people otherwise, as exemplified by many instances in history.
Reiterating this view, UPFA Colombo Mayoral candidate Milinda Moragoda said that the problems in Colombo can be solved only if the CMC works in cohesion with the Government. Under the directions of the President, measures are underway to appoint a committee to look into the burnings issues faced by the Colombo city.
Expressing his views, Mohammed Maharoof said that he had to leave the United National Party in which he was an active member for 30 years, due to the false promises given by the UNP leadership. The UNP betrayed the Muslims, he added, and asked the people in Central Colombo to extend their support to make a UPFA Municipal Council in Colombo.
UPFA General Secretary and Minister of Health Maithreepala Sirisena, Senior Minister and Minister of Urban Affairs A. H. M. Fowzie, and Deputy Minister of Technology and Research Faizer Mustapha also addressed.