The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) has blamed the Government for the collapse of the garbage dump, saying that it should be responsible since it did not have a plan.
“This is not a natural disaster. It is a disaster an administration without a plan should be responsible for,” the JVP said in a press release issued on the Meethotamulla disaster.
Extending the party’s “deepest sympathies” to the families of those who died and all those affected by the disaster, the JVP Political Bureau said the Government should take immediate measures to prevent such disasters occurring again.
“Garbage, made a resource in many other countries using the recycling process, has become a disaster in Sri Lanka. The administrations in our country are so impotent they have not been able to manage garbage either,” the party said.
The JVP noted that there have been various agitations and awareness programs carried out by residents and environmentalists against the dumping of garbage in Meethotamulla but the authorities never listened to them and did not take measures to remove garbage from there or provide alternative places for the people nearby to live, it said.
“The Government and the relevant authorities cannot evade responsibility for the tragedy.”
The Government, accepting responsibility for the disaster, said that although steps were taken to relocate 180 families who lived near the garbage dump, some residents were reluctant to move away from the area. The Government had even agreed to pay a rent of Rs. 15,000 for a month for those who were moving away, but many of them refused to move out of the area, the Government Information Department said.
The JVP called on the Government and the relevant authorities to pay substantial compensation to the families of the affected due to the loss or damage to their houses and to take steps to solve the issues of those living around the Meethotamulla garbage dump.