| The following statement Issued by the United National Party
( December 26, 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) A tragedy has befallen over 650,000 citizens in 16 districts in the Eastern, North Central, Wayamba, and Northern Provinces. Flooding that began a week ago continues to this date and the number of people affected is increasing by the hour. The United National Party extends its sympathies and solidarity to all those affected.
Only 12% of the victims have access to shelter. Many still do not have access to safe drinking water or sanitation and others are without food. We call upon the government, civil society and all people of Sri Lanka to participate in a national effort to aid the flood victims at this critical juncture.
The upcoming presidential election must not overshadow the people’s suffering and the country’s response. Instead all Sri Lankans must be united in a collective and sincere effort, despite our various political affiliations and loyalties, to provide the most effective relief to the victims.
The immediate response to this disaster must give way to mid-term solutions that assure that the affected communities are able to restore their livelihoods, and recover from the loss of their primary means of sustenance -the Maha harvest. All political parties must make credible pledges on farmer insurance and learn from this tragedy that we must prioritize effective and non-politicized management of water systems and disaster response to preventand respond to such disasters in the future.
Our thoughts this week are with the families that have been affected, or displaced in this tragedy. Let us step forward a nation of united Sri Lankans to provide relief wherever and however we possibly can.