President Mahinda Rajapaksa ordered immediate relief to the fishermen affected by the adverse weather during the past three days, a Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Ministry spokesman said yesterday.
He said Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Deputy Minister Sarath Kumara Gunaratne participated in inspection tours in Galle, Kalutara, Colombo, Negombo and Beruwela on the direction of President Rajapaksa and he is to submit a report to the President about the fishermen badly affected by the bad weather conditions.
“Providing relief to the families of the dead fishermen and treating the injured fishermen are the only thing which can be done now. Arrangements are in place in this connection,” the Deputy Minister said.
We hope to provide relief as soon as possible as directed by the President,” he said.
Meanwhile the Disaster Management Ministry on the instructions of President Mahinda Rajapaksa launched a special inquiry into the alleged failure by the Meteorology Department to issue a timely warning about Friday night’s cyclonic weather conditions that caused the loss of several lives and damage to property.
Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Amaraweera yesterday said he instructed the Ministry Secretary to submit a report on the lapse on the part of the Met Department, within two days.
Accordingly, the report is due tomorrow.
Minister Amaraweera said if the charges were proved, he would not hesitate to take swift action against the officers responsible.
He said they received information from many quarters on the lapses of the department with regard to this incident.
The minister said the information will be studied closely and action taken against the officials if proven guilty.
Commenting on the serious concerns raised on the credibility of the Department forecasts, the minister in agreement said the confidence of the public in the Met Department forecasts should not be allowed to be breached since it would lead to further risks and problems.
Asked about complaints of the lack of modern facilities to the Department to provide accurate forecasts, Amaraweera said a proposal submitted by him to upgrade the existing system in the Department had been approved by the Cabinet.
He said the Disaster Management Ministry in coordination with the regional units of the Disaster Management Centre and other stakeholders are working to provide relief measures to the people affected by the inclement weather.
The minister said funds for the relief measures have been disbursed to the District Secretariats.