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Home-less Lanka Mahila Samiti organizes international conference

Thursday, 16 August 2018 News



The Lanka Mahila Samiti (LMS-the premier women’s organisation in Sri Lanka) which has been operating in the country for almost last 90 years after being established in 1930 is very disappointed by the government’s attitude to the organisation.
The organisation held a media briefing on Wednesday to announce the 29th annual three day Conference of the Central and South Asia of the Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW) of which Lanka Mahila Samiti is affiliated.  The conference will be held tomorrow, August 20.
Expressing concerns, Ms. Thilaka Perera, President Lanka Mahila Samithi and the Area President for Central and South Asia, ACWW said that the government’s bounden task is to offer more and more services for the people and while the government talks about women’s empowerment the opposite is actually happening.
She said that during President R. Premadasa’s time when S. Paskaralingam was the Chairman, Urban Development Authority, the LMS was allotted a large extent of land in Olcott Mawatha, Colombo Fort. Initially the organisation’s head office was there and where the government was planning to put up a multi-storied building and promised to allot two full floors of that building to the ‘Samithiya’. 
She said: “We were operating there in the existing building and promised alternate land in the city. But we were chased out of the building saying that the government needed that land for the development of the city. The building was demolished and we were thrown to other places”.
She said that they then met President Mahinda Rajapakse who sanctioned a 10 perch land in the city with the Cabinet approval. But they were not provided with legal document of ownership. They were shuttling between many officials spending large sums of money but to no avail. 
Ms. Perera said that they met Minister Champika Ranawaka several times, but she said that now they have been told that land cannot be released for the Mahila Samiti as the authorities are planning to put up a ‘leisure park’ in that location. “That is the end of it and now everything is confined to promises only”.
She said that the Olcott Mawatha land was released to them on a 99 year lease and she pointed out that though they were chased out from there the lease is still on and now all what you find on the land is a mere vehicle park.
Explaining about the conference, Ms. Perera said that the ACWW is an association of women-led societies and groups working collectively for the shared vision of an improved quality of liefe for women and communities worldwide. 
She said that they expect more than 250 delegates for the conference and from India, Pakistan and Nepal they expect 25 to 30 delegates. This year’s theme is ‘Innovation for Women Empowerment’ and the Chief Guest for the conference is former President Chandrika Kumaratunga. (Quintus)

 

Home-less Lanka Mahila Samiti organizes international conference