President’s rallying call for all to help victims of floods and landslides

Saturday, 21 May 2016 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Today, I am making this statement before my beloved people to briefly explain the disastrous situation faced by the people resulting from this inclement weather, landslides and floods and further to explain about the steps that had been taken by the Government in this regard.

I take this opportunity to convey our deepest condolences as a Government to all the families that have lost loved ones due to this disastrous situation. Our sincere sympathy also goes to all who lost their properties or suffered damages to their houses and for the displaced people currently sheltered at the welfare centres.

I highly appreciate the commitment of the tri-forces personnel, the Police, district secretaries, field officers and the public officers in providing required facilities for the victims while facing severe hurdles due to inclement weather conditions.

Taking into consideration the present situation, as a Government, we are expected to work in three phases according to the information we received about the present and future situations.

The first task is to provide maximum relief measures to those who are affected by this adverse weather conditions. The second task is to get prepared to face the challenge if the heavy rainfalls continue due to the cyclonic conditions. The third task is to rebuild houses of the victims and to provide health and sanitary facilities for them once the bad weather conditions cease and normalcy prevails.

I must clearly state that the Government will act with a firm commitment to fulfil its responsibilities and duties regarding the above mentioned issues. Here, I must mention another thing, as the Government takes steps to provide food, health facilities, temporary shelters for these affected people, our general public, donors in the field of business and non-governmental organisations also can contribute in the same way. I kindly request them to provide their highest possible support in this regard.

As a Government, we are committed to fulfil our responsibilities and duties without any shortcomings in this regard. But we cannot avoid criticisms and accusations against us in a situation like this. But the Government is performing its best to minimise those criticisms. As I mentioned earlier, I insist the generous people who come forward to make donations in order to provide relief to the affected people.

All District Secretaries have been advised to establish special units at their secretariats as there is a need for a proper process to distribute these donations. Accordingly, the program to provide these donations direct to the people without any corruption and irregularity, has already been initiated.

Furthermore, donors, if they wish, could distribute relief material direct to the people in those areas. The facilities have also been made to provide these through the district secretariats.

Before this, we notified the public to inform the Presidential Secretariat through 1919 if there are any difficulties on this regard. The complaints received by us show the lack of the contacts of divisional politicians for the task of providing relief to the victims in some areas. I do not mean by that, that this accusation is valid to everybody. The ministers, members of Parliament, the members of provincial councils and other local bodies in the affected areas work relentlessly with commitment to help affected people. However, in certain areas there are complaints of negligence. I respectfully appeal to the political leaders in those areas to come forward irrespective of party differences and take leadership in relief work. I also request them to inform us of any shortfalls in relief activities so that immediate corrective measures could be taken.

We have also taken steps through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to brief the diplomats about the disastrous situation and appealed to the friendly nations to provide whatever possible assistance for supply of relief material and also for reconstruction of houses.

Already, several countries have come forward to donate relief material and support us now. I extend my respectful thanks to them. Again and again I am thankful to all officials in every field who are engaged in these activities and for their utmost commitment to serve the needy people.

I tell my beloved people, as a Government, we will fulfil all responsibilities and duties for the victims.