PDS gears for phase two & three of tsunami relief in Northeast

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 04 January 2005, 16:45 GMT]
"The LTTE with its quick deployment ability and the Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) with generous assistance from the Tamil Diaspora and the international NGOs, are tackling the immediate Tsunami relief needs, the first phase of the relief efforts. The Liberation Tigers are calling for international assistance to meet phase two and three of the relief effort", LTTE's Political Head Mr. S. P. Thamilchelvan told TamilNet following a conference with Norwegian Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Mr Hans Brattskar, in Killinochchi where they discussed the proper channeling of aid to northeast for phase two and three of Tsunami relief as being planned by PDS.


Norwegian Ambassador Mr.Hans Brattskar met with Mr.S.P.Thamilchelvan, head of the LTTE Political Wing.
"Phase two of the relief effort must involve setting up temporary shelters with good sanitation that will eliminate health hazards like the outbreak of epidemics. Phase three of our effort must deal with the resettlement of the people", he said.

"It is in the next stages, as we seek to provide temporary shelter and later resettle people in the areas affected by the floods, that we will require even more assistance from the international community," Mr Thamilchelvan added.

"To coordinate the delivery of aid for immediate relief, we have established Task Forces in each district. In the next stage we will establish structures to ensure that our people get the assistance they need to rebuild their lives", he added.

"We informed the Norwegian Ambassador that this was the intention of our leadership. We requested that Norway discuss the necessary steps with the Sri Lanka government and the international community and seek all necessary assistance available."

"So far we do not know for certain which countries have promised how much to Sri Lanka. But it is the Tamil homelands in the North and East that were worst hit of all the districts of Sri Lanka by the tsunami. Therefore we expect that the international community will keep that in mind when determining its aid," said Mr Thamilchelvan.

"I spoke to the Ambassador about how that aid should reach the Tamil people. In the first three or four days after the disaster struck, it was the internal organisations of the LTTE and the Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) that provided the humanitarian aid. Based on this experience, we explained what kind of aid we would hope to receive from the international community," he said.

A reporter stated that the Norwegian Ambassador has said his Government would contribute US$170 million to the relief effort.

"I think this is the total assistance to be provided by Norway. They have not determined how much of this will be allocated for the Tamil homelands," said Mr. Thamilchelvan.

"Our Planning and Development Secretariat is calculating how much we expect reconstruction to cost, which we will submit to the international community at the earliest opportunity," he noted.

"So far we have asked everyone for assistance in meeting the humanitarian needs of our people. The request we have made of everyone is that they assist as much as possible in meeting this need," he said.

Mr. Thamilchelvan expressed his special appreciation to the Italian government for the aid they had sent to the Tamil homelands. "The medical equipments, medicines and tents provided by the Italian government will prove especially useful to our people at this time of great distress," he said.

 

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