Home affairs minister Vajira Abeywardena says they had been asked, in writing on April 07, to vacate the area.
The area’s Grama Seva officer has a record that confirms that the letters had been delivered to the people, according to him.
He urges the people to end their protests and cooperate with the government to resolve the issue.
'People ignored danger signs'
Meanwhile, head of electronic media at the president’s media unit, Sameera de Silva has expressed concern over the people not vacating the area even through there had been danger signs 12 hours prior to the waste dump collapse.
In a facebook posting, de Silva says they had ignored the signs such as broken window panes, cracks in the walls etc.
He questions as to why the adults could not take their children and run outside after seeing these danger signs.
The destroyed houses can be rebuilt, but not the lives lost, de Silva notes, adding that everyone should keep a close watch on natural disasters, which could happen to anybody.