The lack of knowledge of the people on the agreements of the Hambantota projects led to the unrest, said the President of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party Youth Front, Shantha Bandara.
He said although development programmes in Hambantota were commendable, lack of knowledge of the clergy and civilians regarding the projects and agreements, led to such a situation. He added that not only the Buddhist priests but civilians too have the right to understand what was taking place. "We dont like anyone harassing the saffron robe," said Bandara.
He made these observations yesterday during a press conference held at the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) headquarters organised by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party Youth Front.
The mistake of the government was that there was no clear indication of the extent of land to be acquired. There were different statements made by different parties. "When the youth front of the SLFP inquired from President Maithripala Sirisena, he said that he would not allow the acquisition of land that would inconvenience the public.
"The proper way to decide on land acquisition was through discussions at the Regional Coordinating Committees and District Coordinating Committees where all regional and district level officials meet and also with religious representatives and civilians," Bandara said.
"If it happened that way there would not have been any issue," he said.
He said when the Hambantota harbour and the airport were constructed during the previous regime, the industrial zone was to be set up and it was in the plan. The same was told to the people and the same plan is now being implemented.
He requested Joint Opposition members to unite with the SLFP even if they don't agree with the Unity government. He added that they should rally around the SLFP.