The Sunday Leader

CMC Seeks Time Over Wanathamulla Issue

By Waruni Karunarathne

The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) has sought two weeks time to submit a report over a complaint filed with the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission by the Wanathamulla area residents.

The Sri Lankan Human Rights Commission recently heard the case filed by the Wanathamulla Housing Rights Protection Organization against the plan to demolish houses in the Dematagoda, Wanathamulla area.

“The Colombo Municipal Council requested 14 days to submit a report regarding the issue,” Commissioner of the Sri Lankan Human Rights Commission Dr. Prathiba Mahanamahewa told The Sunday Leader.

Media Coordinator of the Housing Rights Protection Organization Attorney-at-law Sunil Watawala told The Sunday Leader that the Urban Development Authority did not show up when the complaint was taken up for hearing while only some representatives from the legal unit of the Colombo Municipal Council attended.

He added, “When we presented our case at the hearing, the legal unit of the Colombo Municipal Council requested a period of fourteen days to respond to the queries”. When The Sunday Leader inquired about the case from Colombo Deputy Mayor Titus Perera, he said that he was not aware of any decision by the Municipal Council to demolish houses in the Wanathamulla area. He added, “I have not been informed about any such case filed with the Human Rights Commission.”

According to the Wanathamulla Housing Protection Organization, the case was filed with the Human Rights Commission against the plan to demolish about 2000 houses in Wanathamulla area unlawfully. They hold the Urban Development Authority and the Colombo Municipal Council responsible for the decision. The organization claimed that the authorities have taken this decision without providing an alternative to the residents and requested the authorities to take necessary measures to provide the people with either alternative housings or compensation, if they are to proceed with the decision.

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