President Bashes ‘Meethotamulla Mercenaries’

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By 2017-04-21

President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday said that he will appoint a retired Judge to report on the factors which caused the Meethotamula calamity with the objective......of pre-empting future recurrences anywhere else too.

He said the Judge will look into the tragedy minutely to establish the factors which precipitated this calamity , which should have been prevented because he had given clear orders for the effective management of the garbage dump site.

"I will get the report in a month and I will publicize the report for people to know its contents. I will implement the recommendation of the report and punish those found responsible for it", he said.

He said a truck transporting garbage to the Meethotamulla garbage dump had paid Rs 1,500 to some individuals as extortion money and even Rs 1,000 per truck that was not carrying garbage.

Addressing heads of media institutions the President said that some people wanted the garbage dump to be persisted with because it brought them much money.

The President said that Opposition politicians are organizing protests around the country to prevent garbage being off loaded in alternative dumping places in the country. They are trying to fish in trouble waters, he warned.

" I called three meetings to find a solution to the Meethotamulla garbage dump problem and even discussed it at Cabinet level.

But it is because of the tug of war between institutions that this tragedy unfolded. However, all the institutions which are responsible for garbage management should share the blame for the tragedy", he said.

We have decided to move the garbage dump elsewhere but that will take 9 months for completion. The Urban Development Authority and Army will work on this, he said.

The President said that 98 houses valued at Rs 4.5 million each will be given to the families of the victims.

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