Sri Lankan Meteorology Department that named the cyclone Mahasen on Monday apologised for using a great king’s name to identify the destructive cyclone and announced refraining from using the name further, according to various online news sources.
Ceylon Today Tuesday quoted, Sri Lankan Disaster Management Minister Mahindananda Amaraweera as saying that ‘Mahasen’ was the name of a great king of Sri Lanka, as well as it being the name of the Maha Stupa in Kataragama. As such, it should not be linked to a storm.
Another online media Colombo Page said the Meteorological Department’s announcement came following protest by Sinhala Buddhist organisation Ravana Power for the use of the past king’s name for the cyclone.
The secretary of the Ravana Power Ven. Ittekande Saddhathissa Thero named the use of the name as a foolish decision.
He further said the organization would not oppose naming the cyclone as ‘Prabhakaran’ the slain leader of the Tamil Tiger terrorist organisation, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which led a three decade war.
However, SR Jayasekara, a director in charge of weather forecasting defended the concept saying that the name was suitable since cyclones rendered a service by taking away the heat from the tropical areas and causing rain to provide water for cultivation.
Mahasen ruled Sri Lanka from 277 to 304 AD. He had pioneered the construction of large irrigation reservoirs in Sri Lanka.