Centre for Policy Alternatives on 7 February, 2017

Launch of ‘The Making of a World Class City: Displacement and Land Acquisition in Colombo’.

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CPA Social Indicator’s latest report was launched on the 1st of February in Colombo. The full report can be read online here.

Dr Paikisothy Saravanamuttu, Executive Director of CPA addressed the importance of consulting communities that were being affected by the development projects happening around the capital. Senior Researcher Iromi Perera, who authored the report, highlighted several misconceptions that the previous Government had when it began these evictions and the flawed justifications it gave for clearing out vibrant neighbourhoods.

Mr Rizwan, a resident of Mayura Place who was relocated from his home into a high-rise apartment recently and Mr Aslam, a community leader from Kompannaveediya who was also evicted and relocated, shared their experiences. The disconnect between the people and their new high-rise environment has manifested in struggles with daily life. In addition to this, miscommunication between government offices kept them from resuming normal routines after the move, with regard to safety and education for their children. The most important comment that both made was with regard to the need for consultations with local communities before development begins.

Below are some key statements from the speakers at the event.