The nation had to suffer the worst disaster in recent years when flash floods and landslides wreaked havoc destroying thousands of houses and taking a heavy toll of human and animal life.
At this grave hour, everyone looked up to the Disaster Management authorities to swing into immediate action to provide whatever relief they could with the least delay.
The establishments in the corporate sector, NGOs and some individuals rising to the occasion lost no time in saving life and property and providing relief to the affected people. However, the disaster management authorities who should have given leadership to relief and rescue operations passively looked on for several days while death, misery and suffering were rampant in the Galle, Matara, Kalutara, Ratnapura, Gampaha and Colombo districts.
The State apparatus remained inactive because the authorities were unprepared to face a minor emergency let alone a disaster of massive proportions, they say.
The authorities had failed to hold stocks of basic humanitarian needs such as bottles of drinking water, blankets, life jackets, mobile toilets, umbrellas, candles and boxes of matches.
There was only an official available to answer queries from the media and the public at the office of the highest political authority in charge the subject.
What was worse, the political authority responsible for disaster management appeared to have made himself scarce.
It came to light later that he was at a global conference in Mexico waxing eloquent about a programme he had launched to minimize the damage caused by natural calamities just when the disaster hit the country.
Many are of the view that the political authority concerned had added insult to injury by keeping away from the country for several days knowing very well that the country was in the throes of a major disaster.