Vasudeva criticises army take over of Tsunami welfare centres

[TamilNet, Saturday, 08 January 2005, 19:44 GMT]
"Take over of the management of welfare centres sheltering Tsunami victims by the State armed forces is a blatant violation of fundamental rights of refugees," Mr.Vasudeva Nanayakkara, General Secretary of the Nava Samaja Party and a former parliamentarian told TamilNet correspondent in Jaffna Saturday.

Mr.Vasudeva Nanayakkara arrived in Jaffna Saturday and witnessed the destruction of coastal areas in the peninsula by the recent Tsunami disaster. He later met with the representatives of the civil groups in the area at the office of the Vadamaradchchi divisional Special Task Force, which is providing relief to Tsunami victims. The office is located at Vathiri village, sources said.

State armed forces comprise only Sinhalese. There is no guarantee that the Sinhala soldiers would not harm Tamil victims in welfare centres as in past. If the government decides to involve the security forces in humanitarian activities, first they should be disarmed and thereafter they can be deployed in welfare centres, said Mr.Vasudeva Nanayakkara in his interview with TamilNet correspondent.

The arrival of foreign armies in the name of providing humanitarians services to Tsunami victims and to rebuild the destroyed coastal areas would certainly create problem in the long run, Mr.Vasudeva Nanayakkara said in reply to a question whether the arrival of foreign armies could not pose a threat to the country's sovereignty.

He added foreign armies have come to Sri Lanka to build up the Sri Lanka government security forces. Under the current peace environ it is not acceptable to strengthen the State armed forces with foreign military assistance unilaterally.

Referring to the ban imposed by the Government of Sri Lanka on foreign countries and agencies regarding the direct supply of relief materials to the LTTE, Mr.Vasudeva Nanayakkara said that the international community could provide assistance to civil organizations directly that are implementing rehabilitation projects with the help of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). He said he noticed in Jaffna district that the LTTE in association with non-governmental organizations and civil groups are implementing rehabilitation programmes in devastated areas.

 

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