Sri Lankan President urges immediate funds release for weather-affected areas

Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe has directed the Secretary of the Ministry of Finance to immediately release funds to District Secretaries for urgent relief to victims of the recent disaster caused by the southwest monsoon.

The President has also instructed relevant parties to rebuild all houses destroyed by the disaster within the next two months, with help from the government, armed forces, and police.

A comprehensive plan for this initiative will begin tomorrow, led by Senior Adviser to the President on National Security and Chief of the Presidential Staff, Sagala Ratnayake, and the President’s Secretary, Saman Ekanayake.

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

The President praised the dedication of all officers involved and assured that the government would provide all necessary support to maintain a normal quality of life and ensure essential services continue.

Retired Major General Adeepa Thilakarathne, Acting Director General of the Disaster Management Centre, said during a meeting on Sunday (June 2) that he was instructed to fully implement the District Disaster Management Centres under the 25 District Secretariats.

He added that the Tri-forces, Police, and Civil Defence Department would provide necessary equipment, including operational vehicles, boats, and helicopters, for flood situations. 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, Defence Secretary (Retired) General Kamal Gunarathne, and District Secretaries from high-impact areas who joined electronically.

The Acting Director General of the Disaster Management Centre urged the public to avoid unnecessary travel, stay away from flood-damaged areas, 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. The Acting Director General emphasized that all relevant government institutions and officials would be coordinated and supported to ensure effective service delivery.