Setting up factories in Hambantota with foreign investment is commendable, former Speaker and Joint Opposition Parliamentarian Chamal Rajapaksa said in Parliament today.
MP Rakapaksa made this observation while joining in the debate that took place following a special statement made by Joint Opposition member Dinesh Gunawardena today.
Rajapaksa added that the harbour was constructed not to keep it without setting up of factories: "The factories should be set up in Hambantota and it is beneficial for the country,” Chamal Rajapaksa said.
“But they should be brought in a manner that would not be harmful to the country and it should be decided by way of discussions,” he added.
He said further that lands have already been acquired for the industrial zones in Hambantota. He added that if more land is needed they should be acquired from suitable places. He added that there are lands in Monaragala, Matara and Ambilipitiya too.
“However that there is an agreement entered into with the China Harbour Company in 2014 which has granted lands to them only for the operation," Chamal Rajapaksa said.
“I can submit it to you for your information.” He also said that the oppositions in a democratic country always stage some kind of protest against whatever move taken by a government whether constructive or not.
“The people had a suspicion over the statement of taking over 15,000 acres for 99-years with the China Merchant Company,” Rajapaksa said. "However, the Premier meeting with the Tissamahararama Nayaka Theras prevented a massive destruction.
It was great that he met the venerable Maha Sanga. But it had not cleared the people’s suspicion. So the people decided to stage a peaceful protest,” he said.
He alleged that people were taken from Colombo to Hambantota to assault protestors. He said people from Colombo had been taken to a Hambantota conference hall and the following day they had assaulted the protestors under influence of liquor.
He added that he hoped the Prime Minister would look into this matter.