SARRC summit and security!



- Thinakkural Editorial

(August 01, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian)
The news relating to the security of the SAARC summit is more overwhelming than the news about the SARRC summit itself. The controversy over the arrival of troops of the region in the country is more overwhelming than the issue of regional co-operation. The question is whether the holding of the SARRC conference is worth the while in the back drop of the tremendous expenditure and security arrangements when the economy of the country is so unsound.

It is welcome that SARRC Summit is held in the capital of the country- Colombo. It can bring credit to the image of the country in the region and the world over. The arrival of the leaders of the region and taking over of the SARRC leadership by the Lankan President Rajapakse are matters that can heighten the country's image in the eyes of the world. In brief, there are many benefits from it.

At the same time, feign troops are arriving to provide security to their leaders. The government has taken steps to enhance the security in the capital. Four areas in Colombo are declared as high security zones.

Yet, on the other hand, the issue raised by the people is that the government has failed to address the problems of the people, the sufferings of the people and so on.

The conduct of the government in respect of eviction of people from Glenni Street in Slave Island is anti-democratic. They were given notice of only 7 days to leave the place. Although the government maintains that they are unlawful settlers, they had official documents in their possession and they pay taxes to the local bodies. It was pointed out that they were permanent residents and that therefore the Urban Development Authority has no powers to evict them.

It is not humanitarian to demolish these houses all of a sudden without providing alternate houses. The demolition of houses for the security of the SARRC summit is unacceptable. It is the duty of a responsible government to think of the life of the people and their need to shelter in such a situation.

(An English translation of the Editorial in Thinakkural, a Tamil daily, based in Colombo)
- Sri Lanka Guardian

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