TN should send relief as commodities, not money: Australian academic

[TamilNet, Thursday, 13 November 2008, 02:44 GMT]
The aid and relief money generously given to Sri Lanka by various governments and international organizations tacitly helps filling the coffers of the Sri Lankan government and its foreign exchange capacity in waging the war against Tamils. The Tamil Nadu government should therefore consider sending the relief money in the form of much needed commodities for the rehabilitation and resettlement of the IDPs in Vanni and should make sure that they reach the Eezham Tamils in the non-government controlled areas directly says, Professor E.A. Selvanathan of the School of International Business, Griffith University, Australia.

E.A. Selvanathan
E.A. Selvanathan, professor of Econometrics
By doing so, the displaced Eezham Tamils will directly benefit from the generosity of the Tamil Nadu people and its government, without allowing Colombo, which wages war on them, to get any political or military leverage. It also benefits Tamil Nadu as the money will be spent locally to purchase goods produced in Tamil Nadu, he further said.

Based on recent communication he had with the local charitable groups working in Vanni, he suggested that commodities such as building material, toilets, temporary shelters, furniture, clothing, sanitary aids, equipments to be used in the health sector, basic medicines such as bandages, panadol etc, household items like cooking utensils, children’s needs, equipments to aid the mobility of the elderly and the disabled etc., are urgently needed.

"It is a well documented fact that when the foreign governments overwhelmingly donated aid and relief following the Tsunami in dollars, part of it helped the Sri Lankan Government to purchase arms, while some part of it also went into the hands of corrupted politicians," he observed citing Auditor General’s Report on Tsunami Mismanagement to the Sri Lankan Parliament, 2005.

According to news reports the relief fund being organized by the Government of Tamil Nadu at the initiative of Kalaignar Karunanidhi, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu to help the IDPs in Vanni, has already crossed 20 crores (200 million) rupees.


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