In 2004, just after the Tsunami, the International Water management Institute (IWMI) mapped the area that went under water in Galle, Matara and Hambantota Districts. It highlighted the need for maintaining a buffer strip along the coast for any new constructions. This has been the subject of much debate since then, but a good many lives and a great deal of property could have been spared in 2004 if such a buffer zone was in effect earlier.

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