Koslanda tragedy remembered one month after; survivors continue to live in hope

Koslanda tragedy remembered one month after; survivors continue to live in hope

Written by Bella Dalima

28 Nov, 2014 | 7:49 pm

Today marks one month since tragedy befell Meeriyabadda, Koslanda.

A massive destruction took place when calamity struck Koslanda on October 29  which devastated many, with scores of people losing their loved ones. The mountains of Meeriyabedda which is usually calm and quiet was echoing with sorrow and grief on October 29, 2014.

A landslide wiped the entire village from the map – all what was left was mud and rubble.

However, a month after we captured these footage – The attached footage bears testament to the hard work put in by security forces personnel after the tragedy struck. One month after, for many, the events that unfolded on the day of the tragedy is gradually fading.  However, for those who survived – the events that unfolded are etched in their hearts and minds.

Soon after the incident – pledges were made to build houses for those who were affected. Residents claim that these pledges have been restricted to mere words and not action.

On November 10, Minister of Disaster Management Mahinda Amaraweera made the following statement:

[quote]We have found a suitable land in the Ampitiykanda area. We have decided to build 57 houses in the first phase.  I have given instructions to reconstruct the Kovil and the dairy factory over the next two weeks. The construction will get underway with the assistance of the army personnel.[/quote]

Nineteen days after, we questioned the minister on the progress made.

He replied thus:

[quote]The government has taken steps to provide them with food and water.[/quote]

We queried further:

[quote]A statement was made that the task was assigned to the army for three months and the displaced will be resettled at a suitable location. The army says that money has not been allocated yet for this purpose.[/quote]

The Minister responded thus:

[quote]We have taken various steps to provide the displaced with permanent dwellings. They have allocated lands… Provisions have been made to provide them with houses over the next six months. If the authorities are not working towards this end, we will work towards it.[/quote]

The residents of Meeriyabadda claim that they are yet to receive concrete answers from authorities. They fear that just as the landslide wiped away everything – their hope of a roof on top of their heads with be a mere expectation.

 

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