A Protest March and a Hunger Strike in Mahawilachchiya to Force the Government to Repair a Road in Mahawilachchiya

Anura Bandara in hunger strike
Anura Bandara in hunger strike

Nanda Wanninayaka, the Founder of Horizon Lanka Foundation, Mahawilachchiya.

The road from Anuradhapura to Mahawilachchiya was repaired well during the rule of the previous government. According to the sources from the Mahawilachchiya Divisional Secretariat, the previous government also had allocated money to extend the road repairs from Mahawilachchiya Tract 4 Junction up to Helambewa through Sooriyadamana. But after the change of the government in January this year the new government canceled the repairing of this very important road.

The road from Tract 4 junction to Buruthagas Handiya was not repaired well for a very long time. What they did was just flattening the road with an excavator from time to time. It wasn’t a lasting solution to the problem. The soil became a muddy road during the monsoon rains and most of the flattened soil was washed away with the rain and traveling became a nightmare. This part of the road wasn’t repaired after it was built before 1957. Mahawilachchiya settlement was handed over to the people in 1957.

Today, (November 10, 2015) there was a protest march led by Mr. Anura Bandara, a farmer in the village to force the government to repair this road from Tract 4 junction to Buruthagas Handiya (only 5 kilometers.) Mr. Bandara started a hunger strike after the protest march till the government promises to repair the road. A few years ago, he led another protest with a large number of villagers to force the then government to repair the road from Anuradhapura to Mahawilachchiya. He was even put in the remand prison for seven days as he defied the court order given to him ordering him not to block the road. However, after some time, the road was repaired and now it is in a good condition to travel. The road from Pemaduwa (the small town in Mahawilachchiya village) to Mannar junction was repaired and carpeted after former president Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa experienced how bad the road was when he travelled to Mannar Junction in a car to declare open cooperative rice storage. So he ordered the officials to repair and carpet that distance. Now that road is well repaired and carpeted. But there is nobody to repair this last 5 kilometers in the Left Bank of Mahawilachchiya. Hope Mr.  Bandara’s hunger strike ends with a positive response from the government. He represents everyone in the village.

Villagers led by Anura Bandara at the protest march
Villagers led by Anura Bandara at the protest march

 

Villagers led by Anura Bandara at the protest march
Villagers led by Anura Bandara at the protest march
Villagers led by Anura Bandara at the protest march
Villagers led by Anura Bandara at the protest march
Villagers led by Anura Bandara at the protest
Villagers led by Anura Bandara at the protest
A vociferous village woman talking to a TV camera
A vociferous village woman talking to a TV camera

 

A van finding it difficult to travel in the damaged road
A van finding it difficult to travel in the damaged road
A part of the damaged road
A part of the damaged road
A part of the damaged road
A part of the damaged road

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