President Directs Finance Secretary: Release Urgent Funds for Weather-Affected Relief

  • Steps towards Rebuilding Devastated Homes.
  • Government Allocated Funds for Reconstruction.
  • Security Forces and Government Officials Lead Relief Efforts.
  • Full Engagement in Restoration Efforts.
  • Continuous Support for Shelter Residents.
  • On-going Provision of Food and Healthcare.
  • 24/7 Emergency Hotline for Disaster Assistance- President Commends Dedication of Relief Workers.

President Ranil Wickramasinghe directed the Secretary of the Ministry of Finance to immediately release the necessary funds to the relevant District Secretaries to provide urgent relief to the victims of the recent disaster caused by adverse weather conditions following this year’s southwest monsoon.

Additionally, the President has instructed the concerned parties to rebuild all houses that were completely destroyed by the disaster, with assistance from the government, tri- forces, and police, within the next two months.

A comprehensive plan for this initiative will be implemented tomorrow under the leadership of Senior Adviser to the President on National Security and Chief of the Presidential Staff Mr. Sagala Ratnayake and President’s Secretary Mr. Saman Ekanayake.

Currently, the Ministry of Public Administration, the Ministry of Defence, tri-forces, the police, the Civil Defence Department, the Disaster Management Centre, the District Secretariats, and the essential officers of all affected Divisional Secretariats, along with Divisional Disaster Management Officers led by Grama Niladhari Officers, are working to provide relief to the victims.

The President, appreciating the dedication of all the officers, stated that the government would immediately provide all necessary support to the public to maintain a normal quality of life and ensure the continuation of essential services.

Retired Major General Adeepa Thilakarathne, the Acting Director General of the Disaster Management Centre, mentioned that he received instructions during a discussion held (02) for the full implementation of the District Disaster Management Centres under the 25 District Secretariats.

He also mentioned that they agreed to provide the necessary support equipment from the Tri-forces, Police, and Civil Defence Department, including operational vehicles, boats, and helicopters for use in flood situations. He pointed out that the Navy, Air Force, and Army are fully committed to this effort.

The meeting was attended by State Minister for Defence Pramitha Bandara Thennakoon, Senior Adviser to the President on National Security and Chief of the Presidential Staff Sagala Ratnayake, and Defence Secretary (Retired) General Kamal Gunarathne, with District Secretaries from high-impact areas joining via electronic means.

The Acting Director General of the Disaster Management Centre requested the public to avoid unnecessary travel, stay away from areas damaged by floods or disasters, and refrain from water sports in flooded or waterlogged areas.

The Disaster Management Centre’s emergency hotline, 117, is operational 24/7 to report emergencies and provide further assistance to those affected. The Acting Director General emphasized that all relevant government institutions and officials will be coordinated and supported to ensure effective service delivery.

Rathnapura District Secretary, Mr. Wasantha Gunarathne, reports that eight high-risk Divisional Secretariat Divisions have been identified in the Rathnapura district, with disaster relief officers in all these offices working full-time tonight (02).

The identified high-risk areas are Ratnapura, Kuruwita, Alapatha, Kalawana, Ayagama, Kiriella, Nivithigala, and Eheliyagoda. Currently, 9,398 people from 2,574 families have been affected by the adverse weather conditions, with 2,219 individuals from 528 families sheltering in 18 security posts.

So far, five deaths have been reported in the Rathnapura district. Mr. Gunarathne states that the collaboration between Divisional Secretaries, GN Officers, and other local authorities has made the disaster relief efforts more efficient.

The Rathnapura District Secretary also emphasized that the food and health needs of all victims, both inside and outside the displaced persons camps, are being well met.

Meanwhile, Galle Acting District Secretary, Mrs. C.T. Rajakaruna, reported that out of the 22 Divisional Secretariats, the seven most at-risk areas are Neluwa, Thavalama, Nagoda, Niagama, Welivitiya Divithura, Baddegama, and Elpitiya.

She noted that the impact associated with the adverse weather is decreasing. However, 3,455 people from 1,348 families have been affected by the disaster, and two people are currently missing. The Acting District Secretary assured that all necessary facilities have been provided for 608 people from 250 families at one main safety center.

Matara District Secretary, Mr. Ganesh Amarasinghe, reports that among the 16 Divisional Secretariat Divisions, Athuraliya, Akurassa, and Pitabeddara are in a state of extreme danger. Mulatiyana, Pasgoda, Kotapola, Thihagoda, and Malimbada have also been affected, while other divisions have suffered minor impacts.

The calamities have resulted in the deaths of three people and two individuals are missing. A total of 10,937 people from 2,731 families have been affected. Additionally, 150 houses have been damaged in the Matara district. Currently, 123 people from 21 families are staying in five shelters and receiving necessary facilities.

He assured that all required amenities have been provided to the disaster victims and mentioned receiving directives from the Ministry of Public Administration and the President’s Office to offer any further necessary services.

In Kaluthara district, 943 families have been affected by the disaster, displacing 3,539 people. Kaluthara District Secretary, Mr. Prasanna Janaka Kumara, stated that 30 shelters have been established, accommodating 2,274 people from 606 families with necessary facilities.

Disaster situations have been reported in just six Divisional Secretariat Divisions of the Colombo District, leading to the displacement of 6,839 individuals from 1,716 families. Acting District Secretary, Mr. Prasanna Janaka Kumara, stated that seven safe shelters have been set up by the Divisional Secretaries, accommodating 215 people from 58 families.