Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa provided a strong clue about a major election in early 2015, when he told a contractor engaged to construct the second phase of a low income housing scheme to house former shanty dwellers in Dematagoda yesterday.
On an inspection tour of the Mihindu Senpura second phase construction site, the Defence Secretary asked the contractor how long it would take to complete the project. The contractor informed the senior official that the building would take at least 18 months to complete, but his deadline did not meet with Rajapaksa’s approval.
“No way. That is far too long. It has to finish by November this year the latest. There will be elections in 2015, this project has to be completed before that,” the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence told the contractor during his inspection.
He said many companies in Colombo were completing high rise buildings within very short spaces of time.
Opposition parties are insistent a national election will be declared in 2014 but certain constitutional blockades on a presidential election prior to November 2014 may mean the Government will hold elections early next year instead, as hinted by the powerful Defence Secretary.
Five hundred housing units constructed under the 1st phase of ‘Mihindu Senpura’ low income housing scheme was ceremonially vested on public on 18th November last year by the President.
During the inspection tour, Rajapaksa visited Estate 54 and 66, Maligawatte, Pradeepa Mawatha, Edirisinghe Mawatha, Cyril C Perera Mawatha and Salamulla housing sites, the Defence Ministry said.
Chairman of the Urban Development Authority Nimal Perera, Director General Nihal Fernando, Additional Director General Brigadier Samantha Jayasundara, Civil Engineering officials of the project and senior officials of the Urban Development Authority accompanied the Secretary Defence during the visit.