Mirissa: Unauthorised constructions to be dismantled | Sunday Observer

Mirissa: Unauthorised constructions to be dismantled

The Coastal Conservation Department has taken steps to dismantle 17 unauthorized constructions at Mirissa following the recent assault on a group of Dutch tourists, Coastal Conservation Department Director General Prabath Chandrakeerthi told a media briefing last week . According to Chandrakeerthi there are around 1500 unauthorized constructions across the country and measures have been taken to remove them.

“We have informed the property owners about the measures to dismantle the illegal constructions and action will be taken within the coming months,” Chandrakeerthi said.

The Coastal Conservation Department has identified constructions in Negombo, Uswatakeiyawa, Tangalle and Dehiwela which are to be demolished soon.

Speaking on the recent incidents that transpired in Kandy and then in Mirissa the Tourism Develolemnt Minister John Amaratunga said Rs.30 million has been allocated to develop tourist police stations across the country and improve surveillance to ensure the maximum safety of visitors to the country.

IGP Pujith Jayasundera expressing disapproval of such unacceptable conduct by locals said 20 tourist police stations will be set up in high tourist areas across the country to strengthen law and order. Wadduwa, Hikkaduwa, Bentota, Galle, Mirissa, Pasikuda and Negombo are some of the locations identified as tourist hot spots in the country. The minister when questioned whether the investigations will be brushed under the carpet following political pressure, assured that no amount of political influence could hinder the investigations and that all culprits will be brought to justice.

“There was no political influence in the recent incidents,” the minister said. Moves to solicit the support of the Navy and the STF are also in the cards according to the minister who wants maximum safety to be provided to foreign visitors.

Measures are also in place to bring down the victims of the sexual and physical attack for the identification parade to be held shortly.

However, questions were posed whether the victims would want to come again and why do they need to come if technology could be used to identify the wrong doers. The minister said being present in person is essential for a successful identification parade and that Skype cannot be used for it.

He said the government will bear all expenses on the visit of the victims for the identification parade.

The identification parade of the suspects who assaulted the Dutch tourists will take place this month and the parade of the suspects of the attack on the Israeli tourists will take place next month.

The need to improve the language skills of law enforcement officers was also highlighted at the media briefing. Many officers are unable to engage in a conversation as they are not conversant in foreign languages.

The IGP said a program will be conducted to provide training in languages to all police personnel manning the stations.