Sri Lanka President orders halt to new construction in Kelani river valley

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe toured Kolonnawa, Kelaniya, and Ambatale to check on the welfare of people affected by floods

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe has ordered officials to stop new construction in the Kelani river valley to control water levels.

He also instructed them to immediately halt illegal landfills in the area and relocate the Mulleriyawa and IDH hospitals.

President Wickremesinghe toured Kolonnawa, Kelaniya, and Ambatale on Monday (June 03) to check on the welfare of people affected by floods and other weather-related disasters.

After the tour, he held a discussion at the Kolonnawa Sedawatta Weheragoda Rajamaha Viharaya, where he gave further instructions.

During his visit, the President inspected the Ambatale Galwana Purana Rajamaha Viharaya, which shelters displaced individuals, and the Sedawatta Weheragoda Purana Rajamaha Viharaya. He also visited the security centers at Kolonnawa Terence S. Silva College and Wellampitiya Community College to check on the well-being of the people and direct officials to meet their needs promptly and continuously.

The President instructed the Kolonnawa Divisional Secretary to start distributing food to flood-affected people in the Kolonnawa area.

He emphasized prioritizing the health and sanitation needs of these individuals. He also stressed the importance of quickly relocating people from flood-prone areas, suggesting the use of aqueducts to divert floodwaters.

Sagala Ratnayaka, Senior Advisor to the President on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff, emphasized the need for a specialized program to protect the homes and property of those in shelters during the disaster.

In a discussion at the Kolonnawa Divisional Secretary’s Office, he suggested implementing mobile patrols with community police involvement.

Mr. Ratnayaka also instructed the army to follow strict hygiene protocols when providing food to affected people and to ensure clean drinking water is available.

He directed the establishment of a temporary relief center operated by Tri-force officers to provide essential aid until the disaster is over.

Additionally, he highlighted the need for a special program to control diseases such as dengue, rat fever (Leptospirosis), and diarrhea after the flood recedes.

He mentioned that the President has ordered the government and armed forces to rebuild all houses completely damaged by the disaster.