In a letter to Maithripala Sirisena, the President of Sri Lanka, His Holiness the Dalai Lama expressed his sadness on learning of the the loss of life and widespread damage to property following some of the worst torrential rains in several years, in the island country.
His Holiness expressed deep sympathy to the Sri Lankan government and people in the stricken area and conveyed profound prayers for the well-being of those who were injured or lost their homes.
“I offer prayers for those who have lost their lives as a result of this natural disaster and would like to express my sympathy and condolences to their families and others who are suffering as a result of this tragedy.
“As a mark of my sympathy and solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka, I have asked the Dalai Lama Trust to make a token donation towards the relief and rescue work.”
Since Monday, May 22, at least 82 people have reportedly died from floods and landslides triggered by heavy rains, as the island nation experiences its worst flood disaster in over a quarter of a century, brought on by days of torrential downpours.
The country has made an appeal for aid as it faces a humanitarian disaster, which has caused 500,000 to evacuate their homes.
The authorities said that 118 people remained missing in floods triggered by the heaviest rains in the region. They also said tha the death toll is likely to go up as rescue teams reach some of the worst-hit areas.
The national Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said that 21 of Sri Lanka's 25 districts have been badly affected due to the floods and landslide. The military said the search for the missing persons is is on in Aranayake where 43 bodies have been pulled out from the debris. Many countries are bringing in aid supplies such as blankets, water-purification tablets and drinking water.
Meanwhile, floodwaters were receding in the capital Colombo and in the Western province's Kelaniya and Kaduwela areas. International aid began arriving in Sri Lanka yesterday, bringing help to lakhs of people driven from their homes by heavy rains and deadly landslides.
The United Nations has pledged to support the Sri Lankan Government in its efforts to respond to the needs on the ground. UN Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka, Una McCauley, today met President Maithripala Sirisena and discussed flood emergency needs.