The People’s Movement against the Port City has demanded President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to immediately halt the project as it is detrimental to the country’s environment.
In a statement, the movement recalled Wickremesinghe’s initial stand on the project during the Presidential Election campaign in 2014, where he reportedly said the “western coast would be severely affected as a result of the construction activities of the Port City project. We ought to protect the coast. The coastal belt from Colombo to Kalpitiya and from Colombo to Hikkaduwa will be lost as a result if it is carried out”.
“When a journalist threw at him a very specific question during a press conference whether he would stop or continue the Port City project under his government. He clearly replied that the project will be halted,” the statement said.
“Listening to people’s views and criticisms, and the participation of people in the decision making processes, are essential traits of good governance, and views that have been expressed by people, environmentalists, experts as a response to the EIA report on the Colombo Port City Project cannot be ignored by a democratic government,” the movement said.
According to them, it was due to the lack of such democratic traits that the government of Rajapaksa was also rejected by the people.
“Surely, people do not expect such a devilish government back in power. Nevertheless, when the lives of people are threatened by its development strategies and if the country is ruled in a dictatorial manner ignoring people’s views, it is the responsibility of the people to oppose such governance,” the statement added.