22 November, 2019

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As Sri Lanka Unites, Human Vultures Prey On The Misery Of Flood Victims

As millions of Sri Lankans united in an overwhelming show of solidarity, to support at least 420,000 of their countrymen affected by the floods and landslides, there were a few human vultures who tried to prey on the misery of the displaced by looting homes in some flood affected areas.

Flood Sri LankaAmidst isolated reports that in some houses jewellery and other valuables had been stolen, the Army apprehended a group of some 16 looters, and suspected looters and handed them over to the police on Saturday. The incident also brought back very unpleasant memories, where during the 2004 tsunami several reports of similar human vultures robbing jewellery off dead women were reported.

However despite this isolated incident, Sri Lankans continued to band together extending a helping hand in a show of compassion and unity, offering the flood and landslide victims food, clothes, to other basic essentials. Social media continued to play a significant role in flood relief management, as many took to social media crying for help to be rescued or to rescue their near and dear. Both, Facebook and Twitter were the primary channels of communication mode to broadcast requirements of food availability, food shortages, and other flood related issues.

Shelves across supermarkets in Colombo were empty, as people rushed to make purchases to donate to the flood and landslide victims. By Friday evening, the total number of deaths increased to 71 people, while 127 continued to be missing from the Aranayaka landslide in Kegalle. The Army also ended the search on Saturday for more survivors from the landslide, four days after the landslide. Another landslide was reported from the same area on Saturday evening, however no casualties were reported.

By Saturday evening, the number of displaced stood at 319,507 people from 64,308 families, while a total of 427,918 were affected by floods and landslides. According to the Disaster Management Centre, 474 houses were fully damaged, while 3674 houses were partially damaged.

Over the past week, Sri Lankans, both young and old were seen in an overwhelming show of compassion, with some even going to the extent of donating their lunch packet brought for their afternoon meal to the victims, while children were seen donating their collection off piggybanks, for the almost half a million victims.

The Department of Irrigation on Saturday reported that the flood levels of Colombo and it’s suburbs were gradually decreasing, while the water level in the Kelani River had reduced to 6.8 feet (7 feet at the river indicates a flood level according to the water gauge meter).

Foreign assistance also continued to pour into Sri Lanka with both the United States and Australian governments extending financial assistance for flood relief, and post flood relief work in Sri Lanka. ( By Munza Mushtaq © Colombo Telegraph) 

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Latest comments

  • 2
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    [Edited out] Please write instead of posting links – CT

  • 17
    1

    Sad….but why is that the donation of a usd100000 by Nepal not highlighted…yet a donation of usd 50,000 by USA is given prominance….? Is bombing countries out of existance spending millions of USD worth… than helping victims of Natural Disasters?

    Its heart warming to note the generousity of fellow Sri Lankans shedding differences and come together as one…in the time of need…

    • 3
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      America knows about helping hambantota theft maybe Nepal didn’t?

      • 7
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        It was Mahinda Rajapakse who stole the Tsunami funds money and deposited on to his account and not Chandrika.

  • 15
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    Sad, but this always happens. Remember the $70,000 tsunami funds that was looted?

  • 16
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    Nothing strange, even when the worst ever disaster, the Tsunami 2004 happened we know what Mahinda Rajapakse did to the generous foreign funds in the form of aids provided for the victims in the deceptive name of ‘Helping Hambantota’. He was caught transferring the funds to his personal bank account!

    If it can be done by a person no lesser than one who became the President of Sri Lanka and then what more can the people expect? A real shameless and disgraceful person. If he can be thereafter be protected having the full knowledge of the crime committed, by another shameless Chief Justice Sarath Silva who had confessed his wrong doing in public, what more can the ordinary people expect?

    Still Rajapakse is walking free. Further still the judicial service commission have not taken up an inquiry against the self-confessed Chief Judge.

    So from the very top to bottom all are thieves who thrive in corruption and it is now part of Sri Lankan life style we need not break our heads to wonder why!

  • 13
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    Last night around midnight, I received a phone call from a male claiming to be from the Navy, requesting help to bury the dead in flooded Wellangpitiya. I asked him how he got my number, sternly. He said sorry and cut the call.

    Those who want to help beware. Amidst the outpouring of grief, goodwill and generosity, there is also much mischief and fraud.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • 3
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      Correction:

      Wellampitiya

      Dr.RN

  • 9
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    Interesting to note tht MR GR BR NR Sajin Vaas Rohitha Abey.GL Peiris Dinesh Wattakka n other PROMINENT. PATRIOTS have not been sighted…in or around the flood affected areas…dont they want to dig into their PIGGY BANKS? After all they r very poor…

  • 11
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    The outpouring of support both locally and internationally is to be commended. Especially by our fellow citizens. But in spite of all of this the complaining still continues. Not looking forward to hearing what the JO has to say about this. Wimalaya with his fancy shoes after eating the poor people’s lunch probably is bursting at the seams wth this his caustic rhetoric. That piece of shit should have been upto his knees in mud helping with the search. What’s the GMAO going to say about the Pakistani field hospital and the 17 doctors that arrived today ?
    Mahajarapakaya is probably rueing that he is not in power. So much more money in the form of assistance he could have plundered. As for the rest of the scumbag they will probably blames the heavy rains and flooding on the Yahapalanaya government. Bunch of miserable fools. Wish they could have all drowned instead of the roughly 85 poor innocent souls that perished.

  • 7
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    The govt. should ensure that funds collected from various foreign and
    local sources, specially cash, should be accounted and well protected
    unlike what happened to Tsunami funds. Let those who lost their loved
    ones and their property get their fair share. This disaster covered
    country wide, Hills, Low country and North & East and the contributions
    should be equally divided among those affected people, instead using thuggery in grabbing major share for a section of those affected for political reasons. The overwhelming response from all over the globe and inland should be reciprocated with proper accountability.

    President & PM do not have time but they could get fld. Marshal Fonseka
    to oversea the operation. Lets not the fate of Tsunami funds befall
    on these worthy contributions. The govt. should send an envoy to thank the countries, specially USA, Pakistan & India who came to the rescue
    immediately with funds and goods.

  • 3
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    @lankawatch
    The government should send an envoy to thank the countries who came to help immediately.

    Good Points but we shouldn’t spend to send the envoy all over the world , instead a written memo from the Prez would be equally adequate. Remember we’re Paupers!!

    • 3
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      Analyst – You are right in a way as this envoy may ask for a Business
      class ticket and five star hotel accommodation and may do a ’round the world in 80 days’ trip.

  • 3
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    Where’s Gnanasara & the BBS?

    • 8
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      *Where’s Gnanasara & the BBS?*

      Having fun with their boy acolytes; Its raining outside isn’t it?.

      • 1
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        Good one. They must be having a party with the meals the masses provided to the affected people.

  • 2
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    “Human Vultures Prey On The Misery Of Flood Victims”.

    The greatest human vultures are the politicians who are waiting for the overseas assistance money to flow. And they will steal it. Any assistance should go directly to the victims and must – I mean must, bypass politicians. They will defraud the victims.

    Our politicians are the greatest vultures. Chandrika and Mahinda Rajapaksa stole most of the money sent as assistance to the tsunami victims.

  • 0
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    India and Pakistan have responded tremendousky. Indian sent a C-17 full of supplies. I spoke to the very nice professional IAF personnel at Independence square and also at Taj hotel where I’m staying on vacation . Those indians are doing a lot of great things helping.

    India responded before the US did. Why no mention?

    Nonetheless all aid is appreciated. A friend of mine is still stranded on the second floor because the water is not receding fast.

    Antibiotics, first aid, sanitary napkins etc will be needed in great supply. Right now amazingly people from rural areas to expats to Rotary clubs are doing incredibly work. The relief workers have to reach the more remote areas with difficulty. So there’s a distribution problem but the amazing positive outlook and caring and generosity of ordinary Lankans is amazing. As an outsider all I can and will do is make a donation. There are so many great people helping out. I am in Colombo right now visiting .

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