Northern people have bigger problems than war memorials: Rajitha

Saturday, 1 September 2018 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


  • Says they want solutions to land issues, answers on missing loved ones, release of detainees without trial
  • Denies any attempt of Sinhalisation

People of post-war north are grappling with bigger issues concerning their basic needs and not bothered about war memorials, Cabinet Co-Spokesperson Minister Rajitha Senaratne said this week. 

Speaking at the weekly post-Cabinet media briefing the Minister claimed that despite the Northern Province Chief Minister’s repeated claims on the need to remove the war memorials erected after the war ended in 2009, the people grappling with a multitude of problems in the area pay little attention to such structures. 

“The problems in the north are bigger than war memorials. The Chief Minister doesn’t see it as he is comfortably off, but many people in the north are struggling with their day-to-day lives. They want their land back and want to know what happened to their loved ones who have gone missing, they want action on the detainees who have not been charged. There is serious joblessness in the north and housing issues,” he said. 

Outlining one issue after the other, the Minister claimed that no civilian living in the north had raised the issue of war memorials with him or other Government ministers. 

“The Chief Minister is trying to make a fuss over his inability to do anything through the Provincial Council,” He Claimed. Denying any attempt of ‘Sinhalisation’ in the Mahaweli project as claimed by some civil society organisations, Senarathne said the Government had no such plans. 

“That was only during Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s time only, after that it has stopped,” he claimed.