Public Enterprise and Kandy City Development Minister Lakshman Kiriella yesterday rejected allegations that a land belonging to the Knuckles mountain range had been given to investors to carry out various projects.
He told a news conference that there were no projects as mentioned by some and vowed never to allow that land to be adulterated now or in the future.
The minister said the land demarcated for certain development projects were outside the mountain range and obtaining Cabinet approval for such projects was essential.
“Eco-friendly agricultural and dairy farm projects have been proposed to be set up outside the Knuckles mountain range. They are only proposals and nothing implemented yet. However, as a ministry, we will not allow the mountain range to be damaged. We have not given any land inside or outside Knuckles to any investor. We wish to invite media personnel and environmentalists who are quick to make allegations to visit the site and check for themselves. Parties who level these allegations should provide us with evidence and later investigate these matters,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of Sri Lanka State Plantations Corporation (SLSPC) said Minister Kiriella had instructed them not to carry out harmful projects within or outside the area belonging to the range.
“I have not signed any document that allows the acquisition of land belonging to the mountain range,” he said.
However, the Movement for Land and Agriculture Reform (MONLAR) had claimed that some 21,000 acres of land belonging to the Knuckles mountain range (Dumbara range) had been given to several close associates of ministers to carry out various projects.
MONLAR member and environmentalist Sajeewa Chamikara said earlier that these lands which were managed by the State Plantations Corporation and Elkaduwa Plantation Limited had been given to close associates and relatives of two powerful ministers. (Kalathma Jayawardhane)
I hope you are not part of 118 or 164 for that matter
L.P. Mendis Friday, 08 June 2018 11:20 AM
Why not he who got the big sum first.
Prof. M.R. Silva Friday, 08 June 2018 11:22 AM
He is a hot tempered man but very honest and loyal.
K.Das Friday, 08 June 2018 11:23 AM
Even if he would have taken he will not admit. He is a dam liar.
ANTON Friday, 08 June 2018 08:22 AM
YES, FORTUNATELY EVERYONE NEW IN ADVANCE WHAT YOU WERE GOING TO DO....... THANKS TO SOCIAL AND LOCAL MEDIA , WE WERE ABLE TO SAVE AT LEAST ONE VALUABLE TREE.
Feroz Friday, 08 June 2018 08:41 AM
Increase the buffer zone and protect nature without giving land for development. Why don’t you do the right thing for once by the country. Shame on our stupid voters.
ANTON Friday, 08 June 2018 08:51 AM
SOON YOU WILL GIVE SIGIRIYA AND SRIPAADA ALSO FOR PROJECTS BECAUSE MAJORITY OF OUR MINSTERS HAVE NEVER SEEN THESE PLACES.
Sunil Friday, 08 June 2018 10:07 AM
This was another mega scam of yahapalanaya that almost succeeded.
Aladeniya Kirimathaya Jr Friday, 08 June 2018 11:24 AM
Kiri Mama, now Kandy is stinking after you and your party took over.
Jaliya Senanayake - Snr. Lawyer Friday, 08 June 2018 11:26 AM
You cannot handle any matters wisely and mess up all. Please get lost without wasting our time
Dennis Reeves Friday, 08 June 2018 11:28 AM
Mr. Laxman, you are not capable to be a minister as you don't have administrative power, you can work for your boss RW as a Clerk.
R. Ranjan Meeripanne Friday, 08 June 2018 11:31 AM
You messed up Higher Education, you messed up Highways and now trying to mess up the Knuckles issue. Keep away man and go home and rest.
E.T.K. Ratnapala (ex- Asst. GA) Friday, 08 June 2018 11:32 AM
Hon Minister, are you subjected for Piles?
Sambo Friday, 08 June 2018 08:27 PM
The public wont believe a word you say. They all know your character.
Kanthi Friday, 08 June 2018 08:52 PM
Sorry to say that most of our journalists become timid when questioning a minister.I wonder where are their journalist-skills,wit and guts gone when a man like Kiriella who is alleged by the people for mass corruption interrupts the interview and escape without providing proper answers? Why can't these journalists tell such politicians to the face that they are answerable to the public because they are elected by the people?
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