A press release issued by the political bureau of the JVP states the government attempting to put the blame on the buried without coming up with a programme to resettle people in safe areas is not a civilized act.
It says that government should take immediate measures to provide relief to the affected families and provide safe places to those who live in places that have been identified as risk areas.
The press release in full:
Stop blaming the buried; take measures to protect the unprotected!
More than 10 persons have died and about 150 have disappeared due to the land slide that occurred at Meeriyabadda village at Koslanda in Haldummulla yesterday (29th) morning. We express our sympathies to the relatives of those who died in the disaster and wish speedy recovery for the injured.
Also, we demand the government to take immediate measures to provide relief to the affected families and provide safe places to those who live in places that have been identified as risk areas.
Despite landslide are considered as natural disasters, the common belief is that by being vigilant loss of life could be minimized. The National Building Research Organization of the government states it had warned local authorities in 2004 and 2011 to remove people residing in Meeriyabadda area at Haldummulla as there was a possibility of landslides occurring in the area. The diastrouss incident indicates none of this had been implemented and hundreds of people had to pay with their lives.
Meanwhile, it is heard from various sections of the government that the people had been pre-warned to leave the area as the area was dangerous. This gives the impression that the people who were buried should take the responsibility of the disaster. However, the government cannot avoid the responsibility of the calamity. Despite the people were warned, they did not have any place to go. It is strange that the authorities do not realize that settling the unprotected people in safe place is also one of their responsibilities.
The central hills are still receiving heavy rains and the risk of landslides occurring in other areas that have become unsafe due to various unwise human activities is mounting. As such, people who live in unsafe and risky areas should be immediately settled in safe areas. However, economic and social lives of these residents are linked to the places they have lived for long periods. Taking this into consideration a definite programme should be implemented to resettle them. We emphasize to the government that attempting to put the blame on the buried without coming up with such a programme is not a civilized act.