8000 dead in northeast, 500 000 displaced, TRO appeals for help
[TamilNet, Monday, 27 December 2004, 20:35 GMT]
"8000 dead and 500,000 displaced in northeast of the Island of Sri Lanka", said The Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) in an urgent appeal to Tamil diaspora Monday evening. "Beaches are strewn with debris and waste. Whole villages have been turned into cemeteries. Over 8000 have lost their lives in the northeast. More than 500,000 have been displaced from their homes and left without shelter", said the release and called upon the Tamil diaspora to urgently seek humanitarian assistance from governmental and non governmental aid agencies in their host countries.
A scene from the hospital
Fulltext of the urgent appeal follows:
Urgent Appeal for Humanitarian Assistance
8000 Dead and 500,000 Displaced in northeast of the Island of Sri Lanka
The Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation is engaged, on a war footing, in rendering urgent humanitarian assistance to all those in the coastal areas of the northeast of Sri Lanka who have borne the brunt of the ‘tidal’ waves (tsunamis) caused by the strongest earthquake in 40 years, with its epicentre in Indonesia.
Beaches are strewn with debris and waste. Whole villages have been turned into cemeteries. Over 8000 have lost their lives in the northeast. More than 500,000 have been displaced from their homes and left without shelter.
The Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation is engaged in the task of providing food, medical help, transport, temporary shelters and other urgent humanitarian assistance for the hundreds of thousands of the displaced. However, the magnitude of the humanitarian crisis that we are faced with is such that we need the urgent support of the international community and the generous and immediate support of our Tamil brothers and sisters living in many lands.
The present resources available to TRO are nowhere near sufficient to meet the huge crisis that has arisen and we are faced with the prospect of an ever increasing toll of the dead, outbreak of epidemics as the dead lie in open fields and waterways, shortage of food and a continued denial of basic living needs for a half a million people. Assistance channelled through the Government of Sri Lanka has failed to reach the displaced in the northeast. It is only through the immediate, unstinted and generous support of the Tamil diaspora that we will be able to surmount the humanitarian crisis that has arisen. The Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation calls upon Tamils in each country to join with the efforts by the branch of the TRO in their country in this urgent task. Those individuals who wish to help directly may also do so on line through our website www.troonline.org
In the present acute circumstances, we call upon the Tamil diaspora to urgently contact and inform governmental and non governmental aid agencies and religious institutions in their countries of residence of the critical situation facing the people in the northeast and to seek the urgent assistance of these agencies and institutions to alleviate the suffering of more than 500,000 victims of a natural disaster in the northeast. The branches of the TRO in each country will afford all help to this end. Meanwhile, the TRO has made a beginning to secure a record of the details of the damage
People moving to a safer location.