Cut red tape to deliver urgent aid- LTTE

[TamilNet, Thursday, 30 December 2004, 18:28 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers Thursday said that red tape should not impede or delay delivery of urgent international aid to the Tsunami hit areas of the northeast. Addressing representatives of international aid agencies and donor community in Kilinochchi Thursday, Mr. Thamilchelvan emphasised that the international community has a "moral responsibility" to ensure that humanitarian aid to Sri Lanka is "equitably distributed to the North-East". LTTE's Political Head stated clearly that the immediate relief measures would be best undertaken by the Task Force mechanism already set up at district level by the LTTE in coordination with the Government Agents of the affected districts.

Heads of UN Agencies and INGO’s, Donor community and representatives from the North-East Provincial council, Academics from the university community and the representatives of the Tamil diaspora participated at the confab that took place at the Planning and Development Secretariat (PDS) in Kilinochchi.

Donors LTTE Meet

Mr. Thamilchelvan told that the PDS geared into action the Steering Committee and the Special Task Forces, an inclusive exercise that brought in all the District Secretaries (Government Agents) of the Districts of Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaittivu and Vavuniya, INGO’s, TRO and local NGO’s and many Civilian Based Organisations. Similar mechanism has been already put in place for the districts of Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Amparai, added Mr. Thamilchelvan.

LTTE's Peace Secretariat said that the participants were unanimous in assuring their fullest cooperation to the efforts undertaken by the LTTE and suggested modalities to improve on the working of the delivery system.

Full text of the news release issued by the LTTE Peace Secretariat follows:

"Let us work together to achieve the noble goal of alleviating the human suffering"
North-East post disaster review confab resolves


"Though the human disaster caused by the tidal wave in the coastal belt of this island and other parts of the South East Asian region, has a commonality in the destruction and misery it left behind, the impact in the North-East coast of Sri Lanka is manifold and more complex in view of the earlier devastations this region has been subject to during the last two decades of a war” said Mr.S.P.Tamilselvan, Head of the LTTE Political wing in his opening address during the post disaster review confab held at the Planning and Development Secretariat (PDS) held today 30 December 2004.

The confab was organized as a follow-up of the formulation of a Steering Committee and Special Task Forces to effectively carry out rescue and relief operations in a post disaster situation. Country Heads of UN Agencies and INGO’s, Donor community and representatives from the North-East Provincial council, Academics from the university community and the Tamil diaspora participated in the confab.

At the outset, Mr.Tamilselvan explained to the participants the steps taken by the leadership by mobilizing all the units of the LTTE to involve themselves with the rescue operations within hours of the tidal wave attack and thereby saving thousands of injured, dispatching them quickly to hospitals and nearest medical facilities of the LTTE. During the initial phase of the rescue operations, Tamil Eelam Police and Health teams rendered yeoman service to the victims.

The Tamils Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) with its experienced backup teams, arranged evacuation of the survivors to places of safety, providing them with temporary shelters and cooked food with the assistance of local NGO’s and volunteers.

It is under such circumstances that the PDS geared into action the Steering Committee and the Special Task Forces, an inclusive exercise that brought in all the District Secretaries (Government Agents) of the Districts of Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaittivu and Vavuniya, INGO’s, TRO and local NGO’s and many Civilian Based Organisations. Similar mechanism has been already put in place for the districts of Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Amparai. The necessity for coordination of humanitarian delivery was reiterated by Mr.Tamilselvan for reasons of even distribution and avoiding overlapping and duplication, which has been the experience world over, when relief items reach welfare centers without proper coordination. In this context, Mr.Tamilselvan reiterated that the international community has a moral responsibility to ensure that the resources pumped in are equitably distributed to the North-East, utilizing the effective and pragmatic mechanism set in place now by the LTTE in coordination with the Government Agents of the affected districts.

Immediate relief measures, it is felt, would be best undertaken by the Task Force mechanism and it is therefore essential that the international community have direct recourse to the most practical modality of directly channeling aid into the affected areas. In the matter of mid-term and long-term programs for rehabilitation and resettlement, an appropriate mechanism designed to meet the exigencies relating to the devastation, would be devised in course of time by the PDS of the LTTE, in an inclusive process wherein the GOSL, the international community and representatives of all the communities in the North-East would become stake holders.

He solicited the support of the international community and the Donor agencies in particular to join hands in this humanitarian endeavor and be partners in the mission of providing the wherewithal to the unfortunate lot, many of them bereaving over the loss not only of their dwellings but also of their beloved ones.

The participants were unanimous in assuring their fullest cooperation to the efforts undertaken by the LTTE and suggested modalities to improve on the working of the delivery system.

 

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