Consider agreement by previous Govt. as well: Chamal

Published : 8:56 am  January 10, 2017 | No comments so far |  |  (238) reads | 

By Yohan Perera   
Former speaker and joint opposition MP Chamal Rajapaksa yesterday urged the government to take into consideration the agreement signed by the previous government in September 2014 on the setting up of industries in Hambantota. 

DM_20170110_A001-191He told Parliament that the government should consider the earlier plan as well so that it the economic viability of either project could be determined.   

“The people in Hambantoa were angry thinking that the government was attempting to take over their cultivated lands and their properties to set up the proposed industrial zone,” he said adding that the attack on innocent people during the protest in Hambantota could not be justified.   

However, he thanked the Prime Minister for intervening to avoid a worst situation in Hambantota.   

MP Namal Rajapaksa said the government should have used the lands which had been already taken over to set up the industrial zone in Hambantota. “We are not opposed to the setting up of the zone but we are opposed to the taking over of lands owned by the temples and the people,” he said.   

Namal said firing tear gas at pregnant mothers and children during last Saturday’s protest was not acceptable. “Government should have allocated a specific location for the protesters,” he said adding that the Prime Minister had agreed to allow a peaceful protest.   

MP Bandula Gunawarddene said some thugs brought from Colombo prevented the joint opposition MPs from going into the premises where the launching of the Hambantota zone was held. He said they came to participate in the inauguration on being invited by the government and later tabled the identity card of the man whom he accused of attacking the opposition MPs.   

MP Dallas Allahaperuma said even the Siyam Nikaya Anu Nayaka the Ven Omare Kassapa Thera was injured in the attack and that several monks were still in hospital.