Sri Lanka successfully overcoming urbanization challenge -
A UN report on world urbanization and urban habitats states Sri Lanka
is a country with a low urbanization level, said Construction,
Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities Minister Wimal
Participating in the opening ceremony of the construction of the
Awissawella Penriwatte War Heroes’ Village, Minister Weerawansa said Sri
Lanka has obtained second place among the list of countries with less
The minister said the United Nations always issues various reports on
‘These reports on some occasions praise us and sometimes criticize
us. But they have to accept the truth and the UN has named Sri Lanka as
a country with less urbanization.
“People may think that this report is not good for us. No one should
be worried about this report as high urbanization level never brings
positive results to a country. It creates lots of problems, such as, the
rise of underworld activities, slums, creates a corrupt society, etc.
‘High urbanization is not a solution for Sri Lanka’s problems. None
of the countries in the world with high urbanization levels has found
solutions to problems relating to urbanization,” the minister said.
“So, for Sri Lanka to be named as a country with a low urbanization
level,is a matter of great pride for us, ”Minister Weerawansa said. He
said Sri Lanka is a middle income country. Therefore, urbanization
should be a problem.
But, the report clearly states that only one in five people live in
‘This trend is different in other countries,where most people prefer
to move to urban areas as they believe that they can live with all the
facilities. The situation in Sri Lanka is different as most people
living in Colombo now prefer to go back to their villages, as they
cannot cope with the negative effects of urbanization.
“The report also reveals that Sri Lanka has the lowest urbanization
rate among Asian countries which is on a gradual decline. The rate of
urbanization in 1990 was 18.6 percent, 15.8 percent in 2000 and 14.3
percent in 2010.
‘Population density in cities has reduced as a result,” the minister
said. Minister Weerawansa further said under the leadership of President
Mahinda Rajapaksa, urban and rural areas have develop rapidly. If people
receive infrastructure facilities, such as, roads, electricity etc, they
will not want to move into cities.
“The truth behind this report is that no one can stop urbanization,
if development activities are only limited to cities, resulting in the
creation of urban habitats.
‘Sri Lanka has successfully overcome this challenge.” he said.