Paddy cultivation gives way to tourist destination: JVP
Sept 1, 2012
Sri Lanka is to be promoted as a popular destination for tourism at the expense of paddy cultivation which had been a traditional profession in the country, JVP charged on Wednesday.

JVP MP and President of the All Ceylon Farmers Federation Anura Kumara Dissanayake alleged at a seminar that an official attached to the tourism authority had mentioned at a recent district meeting of the tourism authority that Sri Lanka would be positioned as a destination of tourism as there was potential for the industry today.

Mr. Dissanayake said the government was clearly going on this direction as expressions of interest had been called from the investors to introduce boat rides in 22 tanks and lakes in the country including the Kala Wewa, Tisssa Wewa, Handapanagala Wewa and Kantale Tank.

The JVP MP said the recent cabinet decision to approve landing of sea planes in 17 tanks was also a move towards fulfilling this objective. He said the water that would be released for the paddy cultivation would be reduced permanently because of this move as a high level of water in the tanks would be needed in order to land sea planes.

He said hotels have been built by some ministers and even by the North Central Province Chief Minister Bertie Premalal Dissanayake himself. He said hotels had been built near Kala Wewa, Nuwara Wewa and Parakrama Samudraya. “The gaming Bill which was passed in Parliament some time back was also directed at fulfilling this objective,” he added.

Coming up with more staggering disclosures, the JVP MP said the government was also planning a shift in the agriculture sector in the country where it was being planned to encourage the farmers to go for alternate crops such as Maize instead of paddy.

Mr. Dissanayake said one could not expect the main opposition UNP to come up with an effective solution for the issues faced by the farmers today. “One cannot expect the UNP which started filling paddy land to come up with effective solutions to the issues faced by the farmers,” he said.

He therefore said the need of the hour was a social reform where the working class people could form a government instead of allowing the aristocratic families as it had happened to date.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka