Separate department for the disabled
[TamilNet, Saturday, 05 December 1998, 16:05 GMT]
The Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunge, while addressing the 8th Annual Sports meet of the Disabled said that a separate department will be set up to look after the welfare and the needs of the disabled in the country. The sports meet was held at the Grounds of the Sports Ministry on Thursday 3 December.
More than 350 war disabled and handicapped people participated in the sports events.
The president noted that although the Department of Social Services is now looking after the welfare of the disabled through various projects, there is a need to set up a separate department to carry on with the special programmes and schemes designed to benefit handicapped people.
She promised that 3% of the job opportunities will be allocated for the handicapped.
The number of handicapped people in the country is increasing due to the ongoing war in the north and east of Sri Lanka.
While many soldiers and LTTE members lose their limbs in the war and become handicapped, a large number of civilians who tramp on booby traps and mines buried in the northern battlefront are seriously wounded and have had their limbs amputated.
The number of handicapped people is also increasing in the north east region, due to bombing and shelling of the security forces.