Parents of Isipathana MMV students have strongly objected to a decision to give on lease a land opposite the college to the Milinda Moragoda Foundation claiming that President Mahinda Rajapaksa had earlier promised to donate it to the school. The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) under whose purview the plot of land comes has leased it to the Moragoda Foundation in late 2004 for at least 25 years while the students’ parents and Old Boys of the college had been kept in the dark about the deal.
President Rajapaksa – then the Prime Minister – had given an assurance while addressing a ceremony at the college in the same year in which the land was leased to the Foundation, that the land would be given to the college. Isipathana Principal P. Kuruppu confirmed that President Rajapaksa promised to donate the land to the school and said he was receiving many complaints from parents for losing it to the Moragoda Foundation.
The controversial plot of land that was used as an unofficial vehicle park has been cleaned up recently and little huts have been put up prior to any construction taking place.
A spokesman for the Moragoda Foundation told The Sunday Times that though Isipathana MMV was opposed to the land being leased to it, the Foundation was paying rates to the CMC annually for the leased land, and assured that students of the college would benefit from the community centre the Foundation was building, as it would house a library too.
By Nalaka Nonis