Meethotamulla: People denied of meeting Premier during his visit (Video)

Meethotamulla: People denied of meeting Premier during his visit (Video)

Written by Staff Writer

20 Apr, 2017 | 6:01 am

President Sirisena held a discussion with Prime Minister, Minister of of Disaster Management and other officials on Wednesday (April 19) regarding the Meethotamulla garbage dump tragedy.

A decision was taken during the discussion to begin handing over houses to the victims on Thursday, April 20.

The Presidential Media Division issued a media released saying houses will be provided immediately to 98 displaced families. Attention had also been focused on evacuating residents around the garbage dump living in the high risk zone and also on providing relief.

According to the release, the president has called on the SL Army to begin operations to remove the garbage dump from the area and ensure that illegal settlements are not created in the area.

According to the Minister of Disaster Management, a decision has also been made to provide Rs. 250,000 to each family whose houses were completely destroyed.

For the families that will not be able to move, steps will be taken to provide houses by July 2017.

“We will ensure that everyone gets a home to live in, evaluation officers have already commenced work to ascertain the damages caused, thereafter the government will decide on the compensation.”, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa (Minister of Disaster Management)

Premier visits the dump-site

Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe visited the Meethotamulla site on Thursday, April 19. However, local residents were not pleased about not being able to talk to the affected people. They voiced their displeasure saying the Prime Minister failed to focus attention on the issues faced by the locals.

“… We are sidelined and other people are given the opportunity to raise their matters. The Commando officers did not let us pass. They said the Prime Minister was there. We asked to meet with the Prime Minister. But I was not allowed to move forward …” – A local of Meethotamulla

During the visit, Premier also inspected the collapsed area of the garbage dump. He stated that special teams from Japan and the World Bank will be visiting the site in the near future.

“This garbage dump will be moved away from here. The people of Kolonnawa and the country cannot bear this burden. 2 Million people enter Colombo daily. 700,000 people are living in this city.” – PM added.

Things got intense when the Premier began to make his leave from the site as a group demonstrated opposite Rahula College.

“… I am pleading with you. Please allow us to speak. We are unable to provide alms for the dead. We do not care about money. I only had one brother to carry the dead. They come in secret and leave in secret. Why are they doing this ? …” – pleaded a lady to the SL Army Commander.

Meanwhile several members of the Sri Lanka Cricket team visited the displaced people. Following the visit, left-arm spinner Rangana Herath assured to the media that SLC will help the displaced in every possible way.

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