Written by Tharushan Fernando
15 Jan, 2017 | 7:37 pm
A tense situation arose when Deputy Minister of Social Empowerment & Welfare Ranjan Ramanayake arrived in the Dalugama area in Deiyagahawatte, Ja-Ela, where a protest was being held.
Residents of Dalugama engaged in a protest today over the reclamation of wetlands in the area, charging that marshland in the area is being reclaimed in an illegal manner.
According to our correspondent, traffic movement on the Colombo – Negombo main road was hampered for over two hours due to the protest.
Meanwhile another group engaged in a protest in support of reclaiming the marshland. They claimed that it would lead to the development of the village.
Deputy Minister of Social Empowerment & Welfare Ranjan Ramanayake who arrived at the location during the protest, joined the group who were protesting against the reclamation of the marshland.
The deputy minister pointed out that the GSP+ concession was given due to the country’s committment to protect the environment and promote reconciliation and the independence of the judiciary but as a result of the actions of ‘these people’ there is a risk of losing the concession
“Certain politicians in our party have obtained money from this. Even those in the people’s alliance have taken money from this.Those who are there are the ones who have obtained 50,000”, charged the deputy minister.
He further noted that there are allegations against the government, that Rishad Bathiyutheen is clearing the Wilpattu forest reserve.
“This is similar destruction. I am not scared. Even if it is one of our minister who is to blame. I have the blessings of the president and the prime minister”,said Deputy Minister Ramanayake
The protesters who supported the reclamation of the marshland ‘welcomed’ the deputy minister with hoots and jeering.
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