Tigers meet Muslim refugees in Ullai
[TamilNet, Saturday, 29 January 2005, 06:22 GMT]
A group of Liberation Tigers led by head of the LTTE’s political division for the Batticaloa-Ampara District, Mr. E. Kousalyan, Friday visited Tsunami affected Muslim refugees in the marooned Ullai-Panama region, to discuss their rehabilitation needs. The LTTE team traveled through the jungle and muddy rivers to the area, which is accessible only by boat after the Tsunami knocked down the ramp and approach road to the Arugambay Bridge last month. The refugees at the Aathimunai Welfare Centre, a mound amidst marshland and paddyfields behind Ullai told Mr. Kouslayan that their main concern is about getting a new settlement.
|Mr. Kousalyan with one of the Aathimunai refugees|
|A representative of Ulai refugees explaining the situation. Commander Janaarthan (right)|
Ullai is a Muslim/Tamil village about 112 kilometres south of Batticaloa.
“We need medical assistance. The Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation came once and conducted a mobile health service here. But we need medical help on a regular basis because this is a very remote and little known place”, a representative for the Aathimunai refugee centre told Mr. Kousalyan.
The refugees said that they also need the services of a barber as there is none in the area after the Tsunami.
As in many Muslim Tsunami refugee shelters on the southeastern coast, the people at Aathimunai complained that their Parliamentarians and ministers have not shown any proactive interest in alleviating their suffering.
The Tigers then visited Panama, a village on the edge of the Yala-Kumana Wildlife Reserve, which is about 10 kilometres south of Ullai. Though close to the sea, Panama was not ravaged by the Tsunami as it is protected from the sea by high sand dunes along the beach.
The Tsunami had breached the wall of dunes at one point about a kilometre east of the Panama but the waves, their force spent, had drained harmlessly into a nearby marsh.
Mr. Kouslayan was accompanied by Mr. Janarthanan, commander of LTTE forces in Amparai, Mr. ‘Kuyil Inpan’, head of LTTE’s political division for Amparai, several officials and Mr. Ariyanayagam Chandranehru, ex MP for the region.