President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said the United Nations Human Right Council (UNHRC) is the only UN body that failed to recognize the freedom enjoyed by the people of Sri Lanka with the eradication of terrorism. All other UN institutions, except UNHRC have expressed appreciation for the post-conflict developments in Sri Lanka, he pointed out.
“The UNHRC is in the habit of leveling baseless allegations against the Government over the elimination of terrorism which brought freedom to the people of all communities after a lapse of 30 years,” he said.
President Rajapaksa added that the members of the diaspora community in connivance with some powerful countries were putting heavy pressure on this Council in connection with Sri Lanka.
Speaking at a ceremony to mark the 2014 UN Habitat Day and the launch of the National Housing Policy at the Sugathadasa Indoor stadium yesterday (Oct. 6), the President said many UN bodies concerning children, labour force, women etc. were highly appreciative of Sri Lanka for ending terrorism and bringing freedom to the people of all communities.
President Rajapaksa was presented the national housing policy formulated by the ministry with inputs from all stakeholders.
The President added that former Minister Pieter Keuneman under the United Front Government launched a housing program in the 1970s through which houses were provided to the most suitable people irrespective of political differences.
“Most people have forgotten this program. The housing program launched after 1977, was politicized,” he said. The President said that there was an era in which the LTTE settled families in Colombo and suburbs in an organized manner.
He said the Government led by him was planning to make Colombo free of slums and underserved settlements by 2016. “The families who are living in under-served settlements in the Colombo city will be resettled in condominium housing schemes with more facilities,” he said. The President added that he has issued specific instructions to increase the space in these houses from 400 to 500 square feet.
“Successive Governments in post independent Sri Lanka launched a number of programs to solve the housing issue but no government was able to formulate a firm policy on housing for the country,” the President added.
He said that Sri Lanka can celebrate World Habitat Day with pride as the country is achieving the targets of the UN Habitat program.
President Rajapaksa said the present Government succeeded in formulating the national housing policy with a futuristic vision, 65 years after the country gained independence.