Clinton expresses support for Joint Mechanism
[TamilNet, Saturday, 28 May 2005, 11:05 GMT]
Expressing shock at the scale of damage caused by tsunami devastation, visiting UN's Special Envoy on tsunami relief, former US President Bill Clinton expressed support for the urgent need for a Joint Mechanism on Saturday when he met with North East Provincial Governor Mr.Tyronne Fernando, Ministers, Government officials and the representatives from local and foreign NGOs at Carmel Fatima College in Kalmunai. Security measures were tightened in Kalmunai. Dialog Cellphone links were cut off in Kalmunai from 19.00 PM Friday till 2 PM Saturday in Kalmunai, Police sources told TamilNet.
Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) helicopter bringing President Clinton landed at 10.40 AM at the Kalmunai school where he held a 45 minutes long meeting with NorthEast Governor and other government officials.
Ms Ferial Ashraff, Minister of Housing and Construction Industry, Eastern Province Education and Irrigation Development, Mr. Anwar Ismail, Deputy Minister for Eastern Province Infrastructure Development, Mr. Harim Peiris, Director General, Ministry of Relief, Rehabilitation & Reconciliation and Mr. Mano Tittawala, Senior Presidential Advisor were present at the meeting together with Governer Mr. Tyronne Fernando.
Speaking to reporters, Clinton expressed hope that the joint mechanism would be implemented with every community fairly represented. Local reporters were not allowed close access to President Clinton during his Kalmunai visit.
Senior staff and officials from Health Division and Education sector and representatives from NGOs highlighted the problems related to 200 meter buffer zone and the lack of Government land for resettlement beyond 200 meter buffer zone.
Clinton left Kalmunai at 10.40 AM in a SLAF helicopter and was shown the coastal area devastated by the tsunami in Amparai, SLAF spokespersonn Ajantha De Silva told TamilNet.
Clinton will visit Maldives and Indonesia after his Sri Lanka visit.