Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has expressed the government's regret for not being able to move the massive garbage dump in Meethotamulla in time before the tragedy struck despite plans to do so were in progress.
In a special statement, the Premier, who is currently in Japan on an official visit said: "We express our regret to the people of Meethotamulla who had to face an unexpected disaster with the dawn of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year. Plans necessary for the removal of the Meethotamulla garbage dump have been made and actions were being taken but the tragedy occurred before they could complete the task. The government expresses its regret in not being able to complete the process before this incident took place.
The promise made by the government to remove the garbage dump is still unchanged and that the necessary steps are being expedited. In recent months the government has accepted plans proposed by MP Marikkar and they are incorporated into the action plan to remove the garbage dump. We have to act on those plans promptly.
The government will take action to resolve the main problem. It is the responsibility of the government. Innocent people should not have to pay with their lives."