Meethotamulla tragedy; present, past regimes accountable: JVP


JVP Western Provincial member Attorney Sunil Watagala has alleged that the Rajapaksa regime and the current administration must be held accountable for the Meethotamulla tragedy.

The past regime began the dump garbage at the venue without even having obtained the necessary environment evaluation report, back in 2009. Six months ago the Meethotamulla landfill had caught fire while the houses nearby had been submerged in the floods only two months before the New Year's day tragedy.

He was addressing a press briefing. He went on that legal action will be taken by the party against all those behind this tragedy, as per the Municipal Council Act, and the Penal Code, especially since there had been prior warning that such a calamity could take place. Following the Meethotamulla tragedy so far 32 bodies have been discovered. They also claim that another 30 bodies could still be lying underneath the debris. This is not a natural disaster. This was an act of manslaughter brought on by carelessness.

He added that as per clause 129 of the UC Act the removal of garbage is a function vested in the respective Municipal and Urban Councils. And as per clause 130 of the same Act they have to recycle the garbage and turn it into a profitable by-product. Besides, when it had been warned that a tragedy could happen they had not heeded it. As per clause 298 of the Penal Code if a death is brought about through carelessness any person so convicted could be subjected to a five-year jail term. This calamity could have been averted. Due to the officials' failure to respond in time, the people paid for that negligence with their lives.






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