Relief reduction draws protest from HSZ displaced
[TamilNet, Thursday, 01 December 2005, 11:51 GMT]
Hundreds of families displaced from the High Security Zone (HSZ) in Valigamam district and living in refugee camps for more than fifteen years picketed in front of Uduvil Pradeshya Sabha offices protesting against the reduction in the relief assistance announced by the Government of Sri Lanka, sources in Jaffna said.
Sri Lanka Government has been providing dry rations and compensation worth Rs 1140 per month per displaced family based on the 1990 estimate of living needs. This amount has not been increased for the past 15 years. Recently, the Government officials announced that the displaced families will be included within the Samurdhi scheme, where the allowance will be reduced to Rs 750.
"Today's protest is only a symbolic one. If the Government Sri Lanka does not take remedial measures through the Jaffna Governement Agent, we will organize protests across the district to debilitate the functioning of all Pradeshya Sabhas," said President of the Consortium of Welfare Associations of the Displaced.
Protesters said that the Government should either increase the relief money to meet the basic living needs, or it should allow them to move into their own homes inside the HSZ.