Minister for media and information, Keheliya Rambukwella when intimating the cabinet decisions at the media briefing held at the Govt. information auditorium today (4), answering a question posed by journalist said, every citizen in this country has a right to live anywhere he chooses to live. There are no separate areas for different groups of people. Our Govt. does not allow room for that.. If the Rev. Cardinal Ranjith goes to the North and sees, he will then know what amount of work the Govt. is doing. The Govt. is aware as to what these people who are talking of the colonization in the north are aiming at. We also respect the right of Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith too to express his views, he added.
There is a population of 20 million people in a square meter area of 64000. All these people have the same rights in this country, Rambukwella pointed out.
A journalist questioned on the statement of Rev. Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith before the lessons learnt and reconciliation Commission that because the Govt. is engaged in the colonization in the North grave dangers are envisaged in the future and even though 1 years have elapsed after the war ended, the Govt. has not taken any measures to resolve the Tamil people s issues.
Rambukwella said, the colonization scheme of late D S Senanayake introduced in 1947 under the farmers settlement program was a correct concept. If any part of the country there is bare land, the Govt. has a right to settle people in those lands.
Q by a journalist
The farmers colonization scheme introduced by D S Senanayake, was one of the main reasons for the escalation of the ethnic problem ?
That did not contribute to the ethnic problem. That is your personal opinion. There are no areas in our country demarcated as belonging to a particular group, the Minister replied.
The following were the questions posed by the media and the answers given by the Minister
Is there any truth in the story that a Minister has requested the President to ban a students union on the ground that they are in league with a political party and are preparing for an armed campaign?
Yes. The Govt. intelligence units have received information that there are moves for such an armed campaign. The Govt. is keeping a vigilance over this.
The unions say that the Govt. by making false charges is attacking the unions with a view to destroying it. Is this true ?
Our country is not in need of students who are assaulting Vice Chancellors with clubs and poles. Our country only needs well behaved well mannered students. If the students are disobeying the laws, there isn t a separate system of laws for the students. The laws of the country apply to all.
Is there any truth in the story that the Govt. is bringing new laws - soodhu enactment in relation to Soodhuwa, and name certain areas as gambling zones.?
Yes. It is not a gambling enactment. But we will be naming such zones. This is not peculiar only to our country. All countries known for their successful tourism industry have such zones. Even Muslim countries have them. The Govt. proposes to open these zones in areas where tourism is booming.