The purpose of this article is to explore how the Sri Lankan government has improved the Tsunami Disaster Prevention Systems in Sri Lanka. One of the world’s worst natural disasters, causing more than 300,000 deaths affecting over 15 nations in two continents occurred in December 26th, 2004. Even if the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) was aware of the tsunami threat, they had no contact person in India, Sri Lanka or Thailand to communicate such a warning. The Sri Lankan government and the scientific community were harshly criticized for their failure to warn the coastal people.
The above table shows that, the Sri Lankan government has been playing a key role on disaster management from the 1970s. According to the framework-1, the Ministry of Disaster Management has five divisions, each division connected with each other and focuses on various issues with regard to disaster management. The Disaster Management Center (DMC) was established under the National Council for Disaster Management (NCDM) in accordance with the Sri Lanka Disaster Management Act No. According to the framework-2, the Mitigation Development Division (MDD) is responsible for the national level disaster mitigations, risk reduction based on structural and non-structural activities. Media can play a significant role in creating awareness about disasters among common masses and thus reduce disaster risks. Disaster Management Centre (DMC) is the main focal point responsible for coordinating early warning messages, along with the relevant technical agencies and technical committees. According to the framework-3, the national emergency operation centre receives information from various sources such as international & regional disaster warning centers, tsunami multi-hazard warning centers, disaster management centers, emergency service providers, civil society, NGOs, police, military etc, and communicates with relevant agencies or authorities to inform the people in case of disaster or tsunami.
The followings are some of the key responsibilities of EOC: (1) Maintaining and operating early warning towers and other early warning dissemination equipments, (2) Dissemination of early warning messages and ensure the reception at remote vulnerable villagers, (3) Co-ordination of donor assistance to strengthen capacity of technical agencies for early warning, (4) Initiating awareness on activities related to early warning among the various agencies and public, and (5) Guiding district disaster management units in coordinating and implementing warning dissemination-related activities in the province, district, and local authority levels. The establishment of a tsunami early warning system in the Indian ocean is promoted mainly by UNESCO in response to the UN World conference on disaster reduction held in Japan in January 2005. In the case of Sri Lanka, the department of meteorology and Disaster Management Centre (DMC) are responsible for receiving tsunami early warnings.
Regarding the national level, there are seven national TV stations which have early warning units, seven national radio stations which have 24×7 emergency operation centers, 34 national early warning towers which pass the early warning signals to the Meteorology department and telephone call services are responsible to inform to the people about the disaster prevention in Sri Lanka.
However, after the tsunami, the Sri Lankan government focused more on the disaster management and established some emergency teams that include broadcasters and newspaper reporters. International organizations have been playing a key role on the issue of tsunami disaster prevention in Sri Lanka. There are more than 20 national projects launched by the Sri Lankan government and international organizations to strengthen the disaster management systems in Sri Lanka. According to “A Road Map” for disaster management in Sri Lanka (2005), there were 50 community level projects that were marked by the government and international organizations. Moreover, the above project also focused on establishing the first aid team in many schools in case of emergency or disaster.
According to a school principal in Galle district, the first aid team conducts at least one workshop every two months and educate the children how to protect themselves in case of disaster. Regarding the disaster management projects, it is reported that both the Sri Lankan government and international organizations introduced many disaster management projects at various levels in Sri Lanka.
The most comprehensive disaster plans cover the four facets of the emergency management cycle—prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery—which correspond to before, during, and after a disaster. This course followed Risk Evaluation: First Step in Disaster Planning, which provided an overview of the disaster planning process. What you do—and do not do—following a disaster can spell the difference between success and failure. Once your collections have been stabilized, you will then have to spend many months—and perhaps even years—dealing with the consequences of the disaster, deciding what to save, what to throw out, rehabilitating the building, and treating the affected materials. Even the best written disaster response plan can be greatly compromised if staff members have not been trained on how to carry it out. About This SiteThe Connecting to Collections Care Online Community is a place where smaller cultural institutions can quickly find trusted and reliable answers and resources to help them take better care of their collections.


A special focus will be given to the role of Broadcasters and international organizations on disaster management.
The author has conducted a few interviews and gathered data at various levels such as the Ministry of Disaster Management, Disaster Management Centre, Sri Lankan broadcasting corporation, United Nations Development Programs, and some school principals, community leaders, religious leaders and fishermen both in Colombo and Galle districts in Sri Lanka.
The country is prone to natural disasters caused by floods, cyclones, landslides, droughts and coastal erosion with increasing instances of hazards related to environmental pollution.
The main purpose of this Ministry was to facilitate harmony, prosperity and dignity of human life through effective prevention and mitigation of natural and man-made disasters, while promoting human rights in Sri Lanka.
The National Council for Disaster Management (NCDM) is in charge for social services, rehabilitation and reconstruction. Preparedness Planning Division (PPD) is in charge for preparation, reviewing and updating national disaster management plan and national emergency operation plan. During disaster situations, media should not only inform the public with timely and factual information but also to advice the public about actions to be taken (e.g.
The EOC is operating on 24×7 basis and coordinates all incident information of disasters and resources for management. The multi-hazard early warning dissemination division of the DMC will be in constant coordination with all technical agencies responsible for natural and man-made hazards, and in instances of any imminent disaster it will take action to inform the responsible officers for onward communication to the sub-national levels and communities. At the provincial level there are some regional radio centers, telephone operators, disaster management coordinators, police and military communicators that are responsible for passing the message to the people.
It is reported that broadcasters should educate people about the natural disasters and calm them down after a natural disaster strikes, as well as prevent panic and the spread of rumors.
In fact, there was no special committee or group among the broadcasters to educate the people or assist them to evacuate from disaster areas. It is reported that more than 50 organizations both local and international engaged on the disaster prevention and provided a huge amount of money to build houses and improve their livelihood issues. The followings are some of the national level projects: technology projects on disaster management, coastal zone management projects, and mangrove projects.
For example, the school safety education project (first aid project) is important for raising awareness of disaster reduction among the school children. Operational Recovery after the Sumatra Earth quake and Disaster Prevention Systems in Sri Lanka.
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She presents disaster preparedness and response workshops through WESTPAS and California’s IMLS-funded Connecting to Collections project. The following section will explain the role of Sri Lankan government on disaster prevention systems in Sri Lanka. It is noted that in 2005 right after the tsunami, the Sri Lankan government passed a legislative act (Parliamentary Act No.13) and established a Cabinet Ministry called as the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights and created a couple of parliament committees and development authorities for the disaster management in Sri Lanka. The key activities of the ministry are categorized into three main areas: (1) Disaster prevention, mitigation, preparedness and early response for population vulnerable to disasters, (2) Overall coordination of post-disaster activities such as relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction and (3) Promotion of human rights of all Sri Lankans.
The aim of DMC is to create a culture of safety among communities and the nation at large through systematic management of natural, technological and man-made disaster risks.
13 in 2005, the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) is responsible to release the early warnings to the public via the media and relevant authorities. According to a Buddhist monk in Galle district, there are several religious groups that conduct preaches and workshops about the disaster prevention in Sri Lanka. The purposes of these workshops are to train the school children how to react in case of disaster. The school interviews revealed that there are still some school children that do not understand what causes a tsunami and what is a disaster prevention system. This appalling situation of the absence of early warning system and a way of communicating the danger was well demonstrated in Sri Lanka (Ibid.


In the past few years, the Sri Lankan government has been taking significant steps towards strengthening the legislative and institutional arrangements for the disaster risk management.
The following section will explain the role of Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights in Sri Lanka. The following framework-1 shows the organizational structure of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights. As a result the Sri Lankan government introduced “A Road Map” for disaster risk management toward a safer Sri Lanka in 2005. Regarding the fishing community, the Sri Lankan government has introduced some projects among the fishermen and created some networks among them so that they can pass the messages and make precautions in case of emergency. Education is deemed to play a key role in this context as a vehicle for communicating the knowledge and skills necessary for reducing vulnerability and achieving a culture of disaster safety or prevention. The main purpose of this project was to promote knowledge and skills of personnel employed in the education sector with respect to disaster preparedness and school disaster safety. The first aid team conducts workshops on disaster management from time to time in their schools and educates the children about disaster prevention. Apart from the first aid teams, there are some stage dramas and street dramas by the school children meant to educate the people about the tsunami disaster prevention in Sri Lanka.
National Building Research Organization (NBRO) is in charge for disaster mitigation, preparedness and safety through innovative disaster education & research. Following section will explain the role of media on tsunami disaster prevention in Sri Lanka. This road map is focused on seven thematic components and focuses in more than 100 disaster management projects that aim to provide services on human rights, conflict resolution, and capacity building. Apart from this, there are some NGOs and CBOs such as Sarvodaya, Rural Development Organizations, and Seva Lanka that are also working for disaster management at the community level. The Sri Lankan government and many international organizations launched several projects on disaster management. The project’s direct target group was teachers, who were to be enabled to instruct students in disaster preparedness and how to respond to emergencies. National Disaster Relief Centre (NDRC) is in charge for planning and implementation programs to meet impact of disasters.
For the media to fill these roles most effectively, the government, the scientific and disaster mitigation organizations need to establish and strengthen working relationships with the media. Even now many broadcasters and TV channels conduct this program when natural disaster happens in Sri Lanka.
It is noted that the community level projects have improved the knowledge of disaster management among the people.
Although there are five divisions function under the Ministry of Disaster Management, the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) is important and plays a central role on disaster management in Sri Lanka. It comprises one full-fledged operation room, one control room that is 24×7 operational and one communication room to manage all communication equipment. More lives may be saved in the future by raising awareness of natural disasters and precautionary measures. The main purpose of these workshops and seminars are to educate the people about the tsunami and reduce the vulnerability during the disasters. Electronic media is a media that use electronics or electro-mechanical energy for the end-user (audience) to access the content where as social media refers to the interaction of people in which they create, share, exchange and comment contents among them in virtual communities and networks.
It is reported that the Sri Lankan government has allocated US$ 28,000 for the projects on tsunami disaster management from 2005 to 2015.
The implementation of projects can be divided into three sections, namely at the national level, community level, and school levels.




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