May 12, Colombo: The Sri Lankan Government has taken steps to remove illegal structures on the beaches of tourist zones.
Accordingly the Department of Coast Conservation and Coastal Resource Management removed the unauthorized structures on Matara - Mirissa coastal tourist zone yesterday.
Following the order given by the President Maithripala Sirisena to the Coast Conservation Department to remove the unauthorized structures, the illegal hotels were removed with the assistance of the police.
Twenty hotels that were identified as unauthorized constructions were demolished using backhoes amid the protests from the residents in the area. The police had deployed more officers and kept the anti-riot squad and tear gas ready for any confrontations with the residents.
Hotel owners complained that the constructions were demolished without a prior notice but a spokesman from the Coast Conservation Department said the owners of those structures were given a period of one week to remove the structures and those which were not removed, were demolished yesterday.
The spokesman stated that unauthorized constructions have been demolished for the safety of tourists due to harassment of several foreigners on April 8. The aim is to prevent problems to local and foreign tourists, ensuring their safety and protecting natural beauty of the environment.