Sri Lanka’s disaster management minister, who has been accused of incompetence during previous disasters, was lecturing on non-existing plans at a conference in Mexico, while more than 140 people died and more than a hundred people were missing following severe flooding and landslides across the island.
Disaster Management Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa a stalwart in the regime of President Maithripala Sirisena and Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe, was in Mexico–talking about how Sri Lanka has put in place a program to “minimize casualties, damage to infrastructure, and economic losses,” in natural calamities, The Sunday Times reported.
“The Ministry of Disaster Management has seriously considered the increasing trend of disasters and has collaborated with all ministries to implement medium and long-term disaster risk reduction programmes in line with the Sendai priorities, to minimise casualties, damage to infrastructure, and economic losses,” Yapa said, attending the ’2017 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction’ in Cancun, Mexico. The conference was from May 22-26. He spoke on May 24 and even posted a photo from the event on his Facebook page.
Since the adoption of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the minister boasted that his ministry has consulted relevant stakeholders and identified national targets, as well as prepared a national action plan. “Sri Lanka has already taken measures to translate salient points of the Framework into our local languages, and conducted a series of awareness programmes at national and sub-national levels,” he said. “Our aim is to disseminate the key Sendai messages to the most-vulnerable, with specific focus to the school community.” (The Standard)