While stating that any new factory in the future must be constructed within a BOI zone, President Mahinda Rajapaksa today instructed that the controversial Weliweriya Dipped Products Glove factory be relocated in some other suitable area.
The President gave this directive during a discussion with Rathupaswala area residents and relevant officials on the Weliweirya water issue this afternoon at the Presidential Secretariat, the Presidential Spokesman and International Media Unit said in a statement. After listening to detailed accounts from residents, factory representatives and other officials, the President offered the following solutions to help resolve the situation:
The main priority of the authorities in this region will be to ensure that the people receive safe water.
The Government Analyst’s Department will carry out testing of the water and issue a report.
If the report reveals that the factory has operated in a wrongful manner, the factory will be shut down immediately.
If the report reveals that the factory has operated within the regulations, the company will be given a stipulated amount of reasonable time to relocate to a BOI zone.
In addition to these specific aspects, President Rajapaksa also stated that any new factory that will be located in Sri Lanka must be constructed within a BOI zone to prevent these types of problems in the future.
The residents and the factory representatives, under the guidance of the President, agreed to allow the factory to make use of the items that have already been produced prior to ceasing of operations and to allow the factory administration to function until the report is published.
The resident expressed satisfaction at the agreements reached and agreed to work with officials to help resolve the problem. President Rajapaksa urged the citizens to refrain from taking the law into their own hands if a problem arises in the future and requested all parties to try their utmost to resolve crises through discussion.
Minister of Economic Development Mr. Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Water Supply and Drainage Mr. Dinesh Gunawardena, Minister of Social Services Mr. Felix Perera, Secretary to the President Mr. Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary of the Ministry of Defense and Urban Development Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Gampaha District parliamentarians, Western provincial council members, senior military officials and several other high-ranking government officials were present at the discussion