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Serving Sri Lanka

This web log is a news and views blog. The primary aim is to provide an avenue for the expression and collection of ideas on sustainable, fair, and just, grassroot level development. Some of the topics that the blog will specifically address are: poverty reduction, rural development, educational issues, social empowerment, post-Tsunami relief and reconstruction, livelihood development, environmental conservation and bio-diversity. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Tsunami-affected ignored by Govt.

Daily Mirror: 22/08/2005" By Kelum Bandara

The tsunami-affected people, representing seven districts in the country, yesterday made a combined request to the Government to address basic humanitarian needs by restoring their livelihoods immediately.

The request was made at the National Conference of the Tsunami Affected People organized by the ‘Janavabodha Centre’ and several other organizations, held in Negombo.

Speaking at the function Fr Sarath Iddamalgoda of the Centre, said that they identified the necessity to create a platform for the affected people to raise their voice against the Government’s failure in the relief effort. The people’s representatives said that they had been inconvenienced immensely due to the Government’s failure to restore their livelihoods even after the lapse of eight months.

People’s representatives from Matara, Colombo, Gampaha, Trincomalee, Ampara, Batticaloa and Hambantota participated at the conference.

M.S. Lalitha from Trincomalee said that they received Government aid only for a few months, and it was only the NGOs who were assisting them now in their time of need.

“We were fisherfolk earlier. Now we have lost everything. Still, the Government has failed to provide us, at least a plot of land to build houses, confining us to transition camps for months,” she said.

She said that the LTTE would have chased them away from the area if not for the presence of the armed forces in the town.

“We are worried about the transfer of the Navy chief in the area, to Colombo. He looked after us well, when tension erupted in the town,” she said.

Velupillai Saraswathjai from Akkaraipattu said that they still lived in welfare centres, and had no means to restart their lives.

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