As the country plunged into chaos following last week’s torrential rains which left scores dead, injured, missing and displaced, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe left to the US on a private tour.
A source from his office told the Colombo Telegraph that Wickremesinghe in fact left the country for medical reasons. “He has been postponing this trip for a while, but was compelled to go to seek medical attention,” he said. But an angry member of the general public who had heard of Wickremesinghe’s departure to the US criticized the Prime Minister for his insensitiveness to the current situation. “His government has failed to address our growing problems, and even though they had a year’s time, they were still unprepared when the floods happened this year too,” he said.
According to him, both the President and Prime Minister are regularly overseas on official tours, and the little they are in the country, they decide to go on private tours. “It may be a medical issue, but if he had his priorities right, then he could have always postponed the trip by a few days, and sorted out the mess in Sri Lanka first. He was elected for a reason and his country and the people should be his priority,” he said angrily.
Disaster Management Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa is also reportedly in Mexico at an international event.
Meanwhile, the Disaster Management Centre said that as of today morning, the total number of deaths had increased to 164, while at least 104 people continued to be missing, and over 471,000 people in total had been affected by the floods and landslides.