Plan for disaster risk reduction and ease outlay for relief – State Minister of Defence

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – State Minister of Defence Hon Premitha Bandara Tennakoon yesterday (Oct 13) disclosing the enormous outlay in response to disaster relief and resettlement stressed that we must look forward and plan for risk reduction.

Delivering a speech as the Chief Guest at the national event organized to commemorate the ‘International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction’ he revealed “the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) had spent over Rs 65 billion between 2016 to 2022 for disaster relief and resettlement for Colombo region alone”, he said, “As a developing country we have achieved a great deal”. “Early warning must trigger an early action that is well prepared and tested”, he added.

The national event organized to commemorate the ‘International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction’ organized by the DMC was held at theCinnamon Lakeside Hotel, in Colombo yesterday.

Defence Secretary General Kamal Gunaratne also graced the occasion as the Guest of Honour. The Director General (DG) of DMC Maj. Gen. SudanthaRanasinghe warmly received both the State Minister and the Defence Secretary on their arrival, at the venue.

“Among all other disaster risk management, one productive way to minimize the impact of disasters is enhancing early warnings by establishing a common language for responsible officials and public” he said while adding that “Mainstreaming all local authorities responsible for public administration and public wellbeing into the subject of disaster management with special reference to “Leave no one behind” should be another strategy to be adopted”.

“Therefore, it is essentially required to make “Early warning and early action” an integral part of Disaster Risk Management and Development”, he added

The Guest of Honour, Gen. Gunaratne also addressing the gathering mentioned that “Amidst today’s fragile economic and social situation of the country, there is no doubt that reducing human, economic and environmental damages and losses from natural disasters remains one of our key collective challenges”.
Gen. Gunaratne also stressed that, early warning is ineffective if it does not lead to early and appropriate intervention.

“To do so, partnerships are essential to the successful implementation of effective early warning and disaster risk reduction” he said adding that “Partnerships should cut across different sectors including practitioners, policy makers, and community members at all levels”.

In the same vein, the Defence Secretary also pledged his fullest commitment, along with the DMC officials, to support the practical steps put-forward to strengthen coordination and cooperation of various institutions responsible for early warning.

Maj. Gen. Ranasinghe delivered the welcome address at the outset of the day’s programme. The DMC led programme saw dialogs and sharing of knowledge by international and local guest speakers on different aspects relevant to the theme “Early warning and early action for all: leave no one behind”. He also thanked the international agencies for their support in organizing this event today.

Prior to end of the event a brief interactive summing up was also conducted by the invited panellists.
A special message by the Special Representative of the Secretary- General for Disaster Risk Reduction and Head of UNDRR Ms.MamiMizutori was also made over the virtual platform during the session.

Senior state officials, representatives of inter-governmental organisations, United Nations agencies and sponsors, international organisations and stakeholders, professionals and scholars those participating on virtual platforms, senior military and police officers, distinguished invitees, guests and DMC staffers were also present at the event.





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