Tamil Information Centre
User Name:   
  Remember Me  
Sign up  |  Forget password
    Contact us
Tourism Minister says powerless to act on Mirissa
Published Date: 02/05/2018 (Wednesday)

By Charumini de Silva

* Admits political interference stopped removal of illegal structures 

  • Insists ministry can do nothing as CCD is under President 
  • Suggests attempts being made to handle situation in a “gentlemanly” manner   

The issue of illegal structures in Mirissa is set to drag on with Tourism Development Minister John Amaratunga yesterday admitting that he was powerless to take action as he could not override the President’s orders following political interference tying up the Coast Conservation Department (CCD). 

“What has happened is some politicians have gone and protested, so the President would have said to stop. We have done our part. I cannot go beyond that. I can’t override the President. The CCD is under the President. I don’t know. My duty was to bring it to the notice of the authorities to stop this nonsense and I have done it. If the authorities don’t act, hard luck,” the Minister told journalists in Colombo.

The CCD was to demolish 17 identified unauthorised buildings on 1 May in the Mirissa coastal area, a decision which was made years ago according to the Act. However, on Monday the department said that it was suspended until further notice as some of the hoteliers had said they would voluntarily remove their unauthorised constructions.

Amaratunga stressed that if the sole authority was his, he would have taken action by now. “We are under different ministries; the Coast Conservation Department is under the President and the Law and Order Ministry is under Ranjith Madduma Bandara. If I was the sole authority, I could have done it.”

However, the Minister said that this interruption must not be a free pass and the suspension would only be until a fresh round of negotiations was held with stakeholders. 

“I think those hoteliers in that area, they are engaged in some discussions, I was told with certain politicians and are bringing it to the notice of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA). One is that they all need to register themselves, secondly if there are unauthorised structures which are obstructing registered hotels they will make adjustments accordingly. Otherwise if the CCD goes with the Police, they will smash up everything. So without doing that, they are trying to do it in a gentlemanly way,” he added.

When asked where the delay was and the reasons why almost a month had passed without action, he said: “This is Sri Lanka. When we try to do something, somebody goes and tries to stop it. Live with it. We are too democratic.” 

He acknowledged that unless steps were taken to bring establishments under legal purview it could result in tourists eventually being driven from the area.  

“But these fools don’t understand and realise,” he said.

Despite some countries issuing travel advisories, the Minister confirmed that there were no cancellations due to an incident in Mirissa which saw assault and alleged sexual harassment of four young Dutch tourists and four Israel nationalities by local ‘beach boys’. 

He said that except for Mirissa and Negombo, other areas had generated no complaints from tourists about harassment.

Denying SLTDA Chairman Kavan Ratnayake’s recent views that Mirissa was becoming unpopular, the Minister said that tourists were still enjoying the area although nightlife had come to a halt. 

Source: Daily FT

Share on Facebook

 Latest 25 News/ பிந்திய 25 செய்திகள்:
Sri Lanka Apparently Target of an Undeclared War
Published Date: 02/05/2018 (Monday)
Sri Lanka: Wartime ministers admit to military executing surrendered Tamils (VIDEO)
Published Date: 02/05/2018 (Sunday)
Mahinda establishes rapport with Modi, "visibly" makes up with India
Published Date: 02/05/2018 (Sunday)
Sri Lanka seeks UN reprieve over war crimes probe
Published Date: 02/05/2018 (Saturday)
Human Rights Council holds high-level panel on the seventieth anniversary of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
Published Date: 02/05/2018 (Saturday)
Suppression of Buddhists in N-E: Govt. not keen to curb situation: Nalaka Thera
Published Date: 02/05/2018 (Friday)
Admiral Wijegunaratne’s involvement with murder suspect: TNA alleges President interfered in CID probe TNA admits Lt. Commander Hettiarachchi not ‘Navy Sampath’
Published Date: 02/05/2018 (Friday)
Aid to Sri Lanka never attached to politics: FM
Published Date: 02/05/2018 (Friday)
Sri Lanka cabinet snubs President over arrest of military chief
Published Date: 02/05/2018 (Friday)
A Manifesto for Socialist Development in the 21st Century
Published Date: 02/05/2018 (Thursday)
Sri Lanka: Human rights to dismantle debt trap, says UN expert
Published Date: 02/05/2018 (Wednesday)
University Teachers Forum Hyderabad Condemns the Raid at Prof Satyanarayana’s House
Published Date: 02/05/2018 (Wednesday)
A Concert for the Ages Ode to the Tamil Language
Published Date: 02/05/2018 (Wednesday)
Fonseka’s shocking disclosure
Published Date: 02/05/2018 (Wednesday)
Sri Lankan president's anger over airline cashew nuts
Published Date: 02/05/2018 (Monday)
USAID invests US$ 19 mn for youth empowerment
Published Date: 02/05/2018 (Saturday)
President meets representatives of international donor agencies providing development aid to Sri Lanka
Published Date: 02/05/2018 (Saturday)
The Missing Politics of Female Empowerment
Published Date: 02/05/2018 (Saturday)
Tamil Nadu Governor to decide on Rajiv Gandhi’s killers assassination case
Published Date: 02/05/2018 (Friday)
OMP wants officers accused of enforced disappearances suspended
Published Date: 02/05/2018 (Friday)
Muslim groups call for female circumcision to be medicalised
Published Date: 02/05/2018 (Friday)
Traditional cash crops under threat from palm oil, warns environmental regulator
Published Date: 02/05/2018 (Friday)
Sri Lanka joins the Convention on Cluster Munitions
Published Date: 02/05/2018 (Thursday)
Jaffna – Beginning To Awake As Provincial Elections Seem Nearing
Published Date: 02/05/2018 (Wednesday)
Islam shows its female face with rise of women mosques
Published Date: 02/05/2018 (Wednesday)
Support our work to bring rights to life in any way big or small

Donate using PayPal

Select dates to view
past and future events
<<<Sep - 2018>>>
 Stand up for Rights and Justice
Call to Ban Monsanto’s pesticide
Take Action
Trump’s child hostages
Set Noura Free -- sign now!
Tamil men accuse continuing torture in Sri Lanka Take a stand against torture and urge UN Human Rights commission for human rights to investigate
Latest Publication
Armament for Repression: Militarisation of Sri Lanka Conference Report:

Armament for Repression: Militarisation of Sri Lanka


About us
Site Help
Getting in touch
Facebook Youtube twitter
Sitemap  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms and Conditions
Copyright © 2018 ticonline.org, All rights reserved.