Sri Lanka today will mark the National Safety Day, which was commemorated for eight years continuously since 2006, on the 10th anniversary of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
The Ministry of Disaster Management has made arrangements to commemorate the National Safety Day this year on 26th December under the theme “Towards a more secure tomorrow”.
The main commemoration event will be held at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Conference Hall in Hambantota and a series of programs will be held in collaboration with other ministries and departments.
“As a political leader who witnessed the tsunami tragedy and from that instance was engaged in rehabilitation efforts, I am aware of the magnitude of the tsunami disaster and the complexity of the restoration efforts. Our aim was to restore all, other than human lives sadly lost in the tragedy. Therefore, the ability to build new houses for the affected people and resettling them, restoring infrastructure and livelihoods as well as enhancing the welfare, economy and the living standards of children, women and youth is a significant achievement reached by us during the past ten years,” President Mahinda Rajapaksa said in a message to mark the day.
The government's attention is drawn to find both rapid solutions and formulate long-term plans for the effective management of natural disasters, with development plans implemented giving due attention to disaster management. In this context, raising public awareness on disaster preparedness is vital. Establishing a mechanism for early warning and having post-disaster preparedness in place are laudable steps. Efforts by the National Council for Disaster Management towards a new modus operandi to reduce the impact of natural disasters that could occur in Sri Lanka, in keeping with Mahinda Chinthana Forward Vision, are also most commendable, President further said.
The National Safety Day was inaugurated following the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami on the Boxing Day of 2004 to commemorate the lives lost and to increase awareness among the public in such catastrophic disasters and educate them to prepare for such disasters.
Previous National Safety Day commemorations were held in Galle, Ratnapura, Kandy, Kurunegala, Jaffna, Batticaloa, Badulla and Kalutara districts respectively.