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Presidential Committee report on tsunami released

National disaster mitigation in school curriculum soon

The government will soon introduce legislation to integrate several key sectors which would help at times of natural disasters such as the 2004 tsunami tidal wave devastation of the island’s coastal belt.

This follows recommendations made in the Report of the Presidential Committee appointed to make recommendations following the national tragedy in December 2004.

The report was handed over to President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday morning.

The committee was appointed by former President Chandrika Kumaratunga and retired Supreme Court Judge, Hector Seneviratne Yapa chaired the committee while retired Appeal Court judge, P. H. K. Kulatilleke was a member. The then Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa spearheaded the relief and rescue operations in the immediate aftermath of the tsunami tragedy in the absence of President Kumaratunga and several Cabinet ministers who were overseas at that time.

The two-member committee in its report had recommended that disaster management should be included as a subject in the school education curriculum and tremors should be introduced as a subject in university education.

According to the recommendations, the committee has urged that expertise should be obtained with regard to the inclusion of such subjects into the education sector while the media should be used to provide the correct information through advanced telecommunication technology.

It has also recommended that media institutions should recruit personnel who possess experience and knowledge in science reporting.

Further, the committee has recommended the setting up of Natural Disaster Centres to warn people of such disasters and also to introduce legislation empowering an authority to take speedy action to evacuate people from danger zones.

Several measures have been recommended in the report to minimise damage at times of natural disasters in the future.

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