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2017-04-19

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says the government is in the process of formulating a stringent and efficient program to manage waste within the country.

Premier Wickremesinghe added international experience will be utilized for this purpose.

Premier Wickremesinghe made this statement when he visited the area in Meethotamulla where the garbage dump submerged houses last Friday.

The Prime Minister and the Lankan delegation arrived in the country this morning after cutting short his visit to Vietnam in the wake of the recent tragedy.

Speaking to Media at the site of the collapse, the Premier said the government is working towards ending the damage caused by the garbage dump.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said a meeting was held under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena today adding that a meeting was also held on Monday under the auspices of the President.

Premier Wickremesinghe said though he was not in the country he engaged in discussions on the matter with the President and the relevant Ministers adding that they are firstly going to help save the lives of the people who have been affected by this tragedy and find the remains of those who are still missing.

Premier Wickremesinghe said this work has mostly been completed as of now adding that now the government is are working towards ending the damage caused by this garbage dump.

The Premier added that the Army and the Police are currently engaged in programmes to do so.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe further stated that houses will be provided to all those who lost theirs as a result of the garbage dump collapse in Meethotamulla.

Premier Wickremesinghe said the government has decided to provide houses to all those who are displaced in the area due to losing homes adding that these homes have already been set aside by the Urban Development Authority.

The Premier further stated until such time that these houses are provided to the people during May, June and July, these individuals will be provided other aid and compensation through several programmes adding that furthermore any belongings that were lost as a result are currently being assessed.

The Prime Minister said the government expects that this assessment will be fully completed by Friday adding that in order to do so all organisations must work together.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said groups from Japan and the World Bank are also expected to visit the country.

Furthermore the prime minister added that while dumping garbage in Meethotamulla has come to halt, efforts will be taken to remove the mountain of garbage completely.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said this garbage dump will not remain in Meethotamulla adding that it will be removed.

The premier said the public in Kollonnawa alone cannot bear this weight adding that over Two Million people come here and around 700,000 live here.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said the government has to take steps to address the issue in a manner that does not harm the environment and the people living there similar to how the issue is addressed overseas.

The Premier said some factions are afraid the issue will be affected by political agendas.

He said this issue will be addressed according to environmental laws claiming that the government took steps to fix the problem however some solutions were delayed and as a result people lost their lives.