The tourism industry has welcomed the directive issued by President Maithripala Sirisena to demolish unauthorized structures in Mirissa and other areas. Minister of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs, John Amaratunga said the President’s unwavering stance on the matter has sent a clear signal to those flouting the law to fall in line. “I salute the President for taking this bold decision. It is no secret that powerful personalities were trying to pressurize the President who is the Minister of Environment to suspend the demolition work that was to be carried out by the Coast Conservation Department. However the President’s unwavering stance has sent a strong message to the illegitimate establishments that flout the law that their days are numbered,” The Minister said. “We are not against anyone doing business. In fact we encourage that. We are only against the law breakers who are also a nuisance to tourists and the local public alike. They are the ones bringing a bad name to the industry and the country,” Minister Amaratunga said. According to the Coast Conservation Department demolition of unauthorized structures in Mirissa, Negombo, Dehiwala and Mount Lavinia will be carried out during the course of this month.
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The decision to demolish all unauthorized structures was taken during a meeting held at the Ministry of Tourism last month between Minister Amaratunga and Law and Order Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara with the participation of IGP Pujitha Jayasundera and the Director General of Coast Conservation, Prabath Chandrakeerthi.
In the first phase, 18 identified illegal structures are to be demolished in Mirissa.
(Media Release - Ministry of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs)