Tsunami Act

Sri Lanka is to arm itself with tough emergency laws before a major post-tsunami reconstruction effort which has secured unprecedented international financial backing, officials said. Sri Lanka is to arm itself with tough emergency laws before a major post-tsunami reconstruction effort which has secured unprecedented international financial backing, officials said. The laws proposed by President Chandrika Kumaratunga would give the government power to confiscate property and impose tough punishments for tsunami-related crimes, officials and local media reported on Sunday.

Sri Lanka declared an emergency on December 26 hours after walls of water smashed into three-quarters of its coastline, killing nearly 31,000 people and initially leaving up to a million homeless.

This allowed the immediate relaxation of laws such as those covering procedures for burying bodies, but the precise form of the emergency depends on the laws that will now be introduced by the president.

“The president brought the new regulations to deal with the reconstruction work. In some places we have to acquire land to prevent people from rebuilding too close to the beach,” an official close to t