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Colombo cardinal speaks out after garbage dump collapse 

Prelate offers condolences to families of victims, calls for national policy on waste management in Sri Lanka

Colombo cardinal speaks out after garbage dump collapse 

Rescuers search for survivors after a garbage dump collapsed in Colombo killing 32 people on April 14. (Photo by P. Pathrana) reporter, Colombo
Sri Lanka

April 21, 2017

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Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo has spoken on Sri Lanka’s "garbage problem" a week after a dump collapsed killing 32 people.

"I appeal to the leaders of the government to find a solution to the problem of garbage that is eco-friendly and not harmful to the lives of people and the environment," said Cardinal Ranjith.

"It would be good to establish a national policy on the garbage problem," the prelate said in a statement on April 20.

The statement comes after a garbage dump in Meethotamulla, Colombo collapsed on April 14 killing 32 people and damaging homes. Some eight people are still missing and rescue operations are ongoing.

Cardinal Ranjith offered his condolences to families affected by the loss of life and property. He urged Catholics to offer prayers and help to affected families.

"This tragic event has clearly shown us that dumping garbage in different places is not the proper solution to the problem," he added.

Hundreds of people demonstrated in several places against controversial decision to continue to use dumps in Colombo on April 18-20. Some protesters argued that the country is unable to manage its waste and called for recycling plants.

Focusing on the current crisis, Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena gave instructions on April 19 to expedite the resettlement process for 98 families whose homes were completely destroyed by the dump collapse.

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