Sampanthan seeks review of housing project in North, East

sampanthanThe Leader of Opposition in Sri Lanka Parliament and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) chief  R Sampanthan has demanded a review of the government’s proposed project of building 65,000 houses in the Northern and Eastern provinces for people hit by the civil war, The Hindu newspaper reported.

In similar letters to President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, the TNA leader, who spent the last weekend in the North, criticised the project on various counts such as durability, environmental suitability and cost.  He also referred to reports, alleging irregularities in the tender process.

Adverting to the unit cost of Rs. 2.1 million under the project, he said this was two to three times more than what was provided under the Indian housing scheme. “This fact is of greater concern in a context where the housing need [in the North and the East] exceeds 130,000 and the Government is offering 65,000 – half of that number,” he said, describing 50,000 houses built under the Indian housing scheme as “environmentally suitable and durable.”

Citing the problem of unemployment in the North, he argued that serious consideration must be given to make use of the available local labour.

While commending the government’s resolve to address the housing needs of the two provinces, Mr Sampanthan said “all such efforts must take into consideration the needs and culture of the people themselves, and long term implications the initiative will have on the community. It is only then that such efforts can be an effective part of reconciliation. Such efforts must not, instead, fall prey to corruption and become a means of benefiting a powerful few.”

Reiterating the TNA’s commitment to engaging constructively with the government to bring about reconciliation, he pointed out to the President and the Prime Minister that “if the government is committed to reconciliation, its actions must reflect that.”

A spokesperson at the office of Resettlement and Rehabilitation Minister, D.M. Swaminathan, said the Minister would, in a couple of days, issue a detailed statement, responding to concerns of Mr Sampanthan. (Colombo Gazette)

3 COMMENTS

  1. Is good that TNA has comes in first time with that housing problems of North and East need be address by the ethanic Tamil community request , which is process of construcation of 65000 housed by Indian funded -long.

    The very people who dispalce by fighting for New Eealm regime, under LTTE and TNA misguided politics programmed by TNA.

    Well and understood Eealm projiect was in total mess and fail, which was support by Indain RAW .
    But noe Indin turn into new housing projects long- funded by Indain state that success will depend on “good goverances” support by TNA?

    Needless to say housing building is also most lucrative busniesses for the Indian big busniess men who are making super-profits out of this of type projects.

    We are supporting for building houses for Tamils by indain who had been viticims of LTTE and TNA politics , but there is responsibility of Govt of Inda must be provide for new living level for Tamils in other part of Island. .

  2. Tell me which project successfully completed by Tamils, but they want devolution of power or Eelam, so the foreign powers can implement their interests.

    “Citing the problem of unemployment in the North, he argued that serious consideration must be given to make use of the available local labour.”

    Mr Sampanthan doesn’t know what is happening on the ground. Young Tamils don’t want to work hard. They would like to see money under the pillow, so they can drink alcohol and move around on a motorbike, or want to go to the West as refugees. The Chinese don’t go to the West as refugees by accusing their motherland compare to South Asians. Just check how many South Asians applied for refugee status in Hong Kong recently. South Asians don’t know what is patriotism, Sri Lankan Tamils are worse compare to other South Asians.

    • There is some truth in Peter’s comment. Has any Tamil party discouraged Tamils seeking refugee status. They encourage so that diaspora can be more powerful and will pump more money to them.

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