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Thu, 24 August 2017 17:30:47
Sri Lanka capital's unauthorised houses demolished
19 Jul, 2008 10:07:22
July 19, 2008 (LBO) - Sri Lanka demolished unauthorised dwellings of residents in under-served areas of the capital Colombo, while those made homeless protested by blocking a rail track.

Police tear gassed the protestors Friday and the government's urban development agency razed houses and small shops to the ground despite a court order that suspended the campaign till next week.

Residents in underserved settlements screamed in protest with wailing mothers with babies imploring authorities to stop demolishing their homes.

Earlier on Friday a group of residents handed over a letter to the Indian embassy, as demolition was ostensibly carried out to improve 'security' for an upcoming regional summit meeting which is attended by Indian premier Manmohan Singh.

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READER COMMENT(S)
4. Jack Point Jul 21
It is true that these need to be cleared but the Government needs to do this as part of a long term strategy to redevelop these areas and with provision for alternative housing.

Throwing people out just because the SAARC summit is on is wrong.

3. sunili Jul 20
What a disaster for the poor people! It's really sad and horrible news.
2. Sherman G. de Silva Jul 19
The heart-rending scenes witnessed during the demolition drive against the illegal settlers was not unexpected. Several places in Colombo, including Slave Island, are veritable hellholes that paint an ugly picture of the otherwise pleasant environs.

My only concern is whether the authorities did the right thing in giving them advanced noticed on the proposed eviction and demolition. If they hadnt, the government is duty bound to provide them with temporary arrangements on humanitarian grounds. Let the NGOs and HR groups come forward to relocate the shelterless people!

1. KGE Jul 19
What the government did was right. We cannot give in to emotions, these settlements were illegal, opposition may exploit this and media will go to town with the grievances of these settlers, but rules have to be applied.

Most of the problems in cities, traffic congestion, illegal activities, are the result of improper planning and haphazard settlements and it is time these are cleaned up. It is heartening to note that the Government has the courage to go ahead with this decision