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Woman holds protest on mara tree

A 56-year-old mother of three, Wathukanda Gamage Premalatha, who ran a wayside temporary shop made of planks at Thawaluwila, Ambantota on the Hambantota - Tangalle main road, climbed a nearby mara tree and launched a demonstration protesting against an official order to dismantle her shop.

She said she had maintained this shop since 2011 as a means of livelihood and alleged that authorities acting under pressure of a powerful individual had directed her to dismantle her shop to enable him to erect an access road to a line of shops he had erected for leasing.
Premalatha alleged that there were temporary shops galore put along the road renovation in the Ambalantota town but only she had been ordered to move out.

This was a grave injustice, she alleged. Executive engineer of the Road Development Authrority in Tangalle, C. Kodituwakku when contacted said they had encountered many problems in trying to dismantle unauthorised buildings on the road reservation.

He said if an owner of an unauthorised building erected on the reservation was requested to remove the building to give way to a permanent building, he or she had to abide by that request.