Sri Lanka MeT Dept apologises over naming cyclone as ‘Mahasen’
Colombo: Sri Lanka`s MeT department on Tuesday apologised to the Buddhist community for naming a deadly tropical cyclone `Mahasen` after a revered king.
The cyclone which affected parts of Bangladesh a fortnight ago was named `Mahasen` after a Sri Lankan monarch whose rule has been remembered for much prosperity in ancient Sri Lanka, inviting criticism from Buddhist nationalist groups.
"The department wishes to apologise for giving the Mahasen name to the cyclone. It was not a deliberate attempt to discredit the King Mahasen", Meteorological Department Director SH Kariyawasam told reporters.
It was routine action giving a name to the World Meterological Organisation taking Sri Lanka`s turn to do so and nothing more, he said.
Even President Mahinda Rajapaksa at a public speaking engagement last week blamed his rival United National Party rule for naming the cyclone after King Mahasen in 2003.
King Mahasen ruled Sri Lanka in the 4th century and built 16 large reservoirs.
The cyclone `Mahasen` ravaged parts of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Myanmar killing 48 people.
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