(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –The Sri Lankan government hopes to ensure that every family in the country has a sustainable habitat to live, the Minister of Finance and Mass Media Mangala Samaraweera says.
Marking the World Habitat Day yesterday (2nd Oct.), Minister Samaraweera said home is the foundation of man, the foundation of family and by and large, it is the foundation of society and that foundation should be preserved without allowing it to crumble.
‘Housing Policies: Affordable Homes’ has been declared as the theme of World Habitat Day by the United Nations this year.
“In line with this year’s theme of World Habitat Day, it is our fervent hope to ensure the right of the people living in urban areas to live in a sustainable habitat with all amenities and therefore we will be prompted to revisit the way we think about land, habitats and human existence,” the Minister said.
“At the same time, this theme will thrust us towards the ambition of making our surroundings and environment a beneficial place for man’s existence.”
He expressed these views at a ceremony held at the Sanath Jayasuriya sports Complex in Matara to mark the World Habitat Day.
Minster Samaraweera also said that the country is building itself within the walls of democracy and reconciliation, underscoring that the ‘active democracy’ has been established through the Right to Information Act. He asserted that within the next 3 years Sri Lanka will be the center-stage of Asia.
Also participating in the event, Minister of Housing Sajith Premadasa said at the moment when the World Habitat Day is marked, 2.5 million of the general public are not having a permanent shelter.
Minister Premadasa said after the present government came into the power, measures were taken to grant relief to 223,000 families and 464 “reawakened villages” were implemented under the “Udaa Gammana” Scheme. He added that the government intends to launch 2500 villages under this scheme.