LTTE should handle relief operation in its territory - Ranil
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 04 January 2005, 05:54 GMT]
Leader of the Main Opposition United National Front (UNF), Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, has said that the Liberation Tigers should handle the tsunami relief operation in the LTTE-held areas as they were the ones who handled the immediate rescue operation in those areas. Mr. Wickremesinghe, who is scheduled to visit the tsunami-wrecked areas in the Northern province Wednesday, has made these comments Monday in an exclusive interview with the Colombo-based Tamil daily, Sudar Oli.
He has pointed out that it was the local people and the police who carried out the immediate rescue operation in the Southern province. Therefore, the relief operation should also be given to them by setting up organizations at Pradeshiya Sabha-level.
"This should be applied in the LTTE-held areas as well, because it was the local people of those areas and the LTTE who carried out the immediate rescue operations. Therefore, the full responsibility to handle relief operation in those areas should be left to the LTTE," the newspaper has quoted Mr. Wickremesinghe as saying.
Mr. Wickremesinghe has planned to visit all three tsunami refugee camps in the Northern Jaffna peninsula Wednesday.
The LTTE holds the view that the immediate relief measures in the Northeast 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.
Mr. S. P. Thamilchelvan, Head of the Political Wing of the LTTE, addressing representatives of international aid agencies and donor community in Kilinochchi last Thursday, urged the international community to ensure that humanitarian aid to Sri Lanka is "equitably distributed to the North-East".