"Colombo will mislead the world on aid distribution"- Kilinochchi paper

[TamilNet, Sunday, 23 January 2005, 15:11 GMT]
The Tamil daily Eelanatham, published in Killinochchi, warned in its Sunday editorial that Chandrika Kumaratunge's government will again mislead the world on distribution of the aid received for tsunami relief. The paper called on the donors to also set up mechanisms and procedures to ensure an equitable distribution of aid to all those affected, among them two thirds are from the NorthEast of Sri Lanka.

Excerpts from the editorial follow:

Eelanatham"All visiting heads of states giving aid to Sri Lanka for tsunami relief have insisted to the Sri Lankan government that their aid must reach all the affected people. UN Secretary General also emphasised this during his visit. The deputy foreign minister of Norway and the Norwegian special envoy Eric Solheim added their voice to international voices when they met Mr. D M Dissanayake, the deputy minister of rehabilitation and resettlement. Government of Chandrika Kumaratunge responded saying they will be distributing the aid to all affected people."

"There are, however, no signs on ground, that relief is reaching the Tamil homelands of northeast in an equitable manner. Although dry ration consignments have been sent to northeast after substantial delay, other types of relief material have failed to reach NorthEast. The major portion of the aid given to the government is distributed to the southern Sri Lanka, to Galle, Matara and Hambantotta."

"Yet, the government is also very keen to give the impression that they are sending relief to northeast. In order to give weight to this, the Sri Lanka government has asked the LTTE representatives to be in the government's tsunami relief task force. In reality the government has taken no efforts to rehabilitate affected areas in northeast."

"Government's dishonesty does not stop here. It has placed obstacles to the relief work carried out by the locals in northeast. It is to assist the Government officials to disrupt the relief work that the government has passed Emergency Regulation, appointed military heads to be responsible for the relief work. If the intentions are sincere these actions are not necessary."

"Chandika Kumaratunge's government has clearly demonstrated that it has not stepped out of its oppressor mentality towards the Tamil people. It has shown that it is willing to use Emergency Regulation and the armed forces to oppress even when peoples lives are decimated by tsunami disaster."

"Given all of this, talking of equitable distribution of tsunami relief aid and talking about working together with the LTTE in the rehabilitation effort are not only empty gestures they are fraudulent conduct by the government. Therefore, those foreign countries that are giving aid in the name of the people affected by the tsunami must also work out the means of ensuring that that the relief reach the affected people. If they fail to ensure equitable distribution the world as well as the Tamil people will be deceived by the Sri Lankan government."

 

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