Did Sri Lanka twist UN findings to justify zoning?

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe (2nd R) arrives to visit the site of a bomb attack at St. Anthony's Shrine in Kochchikade in Colombo on April 21, 2019. - A string of blasts ripped through high-end hotels and churches holding Easter services in Sri Lanka on April 21, killing at least 156 people, including 35 foreigners. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP) (Photo credit should read ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Sri Lanka’s move to justify the no-building coastal buffer zone based on a United Nations sampling of tsunami survivors could be seriously flawed, a survey by two UN agencies showed. Sri Lanka’s move to justify the no-building coastal buffer zone based on a United Nations sampling of tsunami survivors could be seriously flawed, a survey by two UN agencies showed. Top officials handling tsunami relief quoted a report commissioned by two UN agencies showing that 65 percent of those displaced did not want to live within the 100-meter buffer zone, but the survey itself questions the outcome.

The government’s tsunami Task force member Tilak Ranaviraja discounted opposition to the buffer zone and used the UNHCR/UNICEF sample survey to strengthen his claims.

“So it’s (the buffer zone regulations) is not a very big issue,” Ranaviraja told reporters here on Wednesday while quoting from the UN-backed report.

The government has been accused of trying to take over valuable coastal land through the implementation of the buffer zone. The blanket application of the regulation was also seen as unscientific and uneconomical.

Even the World Bank and ex-US president Bill Clin