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"Conditions in Colombo lodges appalling"

B. Muralidhar Reddy

Government outfit carries photo feature on its website

COLOMBO: Media Centre for National Security (MCNS), a Sri Lanka Government outfit, which disseminates news about defence related issues, said on Sunday that people arriving from North and East live ``in appalling conditions" in lodges in Colombo.

In a photo feature carried on the MCNS website (http://www.nationalsecurity.lk) it said, "Our cameras captured the condition of some of the lodges in Pettah and Kotahena."

The photos featured include a view of rooms of some of the lodges and toilet facilities.

"The Army comes quite often around 4.30 a.m. in the morning and check IDs and bags. The police also come and check the records in the lodge. They ask what we are doing in Colombo. They say the LTTE is all over and bombs are exploding in Colombo. So they have to check. I think they have to do their duty.

"They check us quite often. They are doing that to ensure the security of everybody. There is no problem for us.

"It's more than four days coming to Colombo. I returned from Saudi recently and I am in Colombo to collect my luggage.

"Many people from the North East come to Colombo to find jobs and for other matters like obtaining the passports, National Identification cards and birth certificates. Some come to Colombo with the hope of going abroad."

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