Local officials accused of swindling relief provided to war-widows
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 30 March 2011, 12:39 GMT]
Relief materials allocated for widows who lost their husbands in military operation of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) are being forced by a Grama Niladhari (Village Level Officer) to pay for such assistance. The affected widows are unable to make complaints to higher authority against this illegal activity fearing reprisal, civil society sources said.
Large number of women who lost their husbands due to military operation is residing in Kannagipuram East village in 35th Colony under Vellaveli DS division in Batticaloa district. The NECCDEP, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) has been implementing a rehabilitation programme for these women.
Under the programme a mother of five children Meharajah Gnaneswaray was given 1400 tiles for renovating her house. But the GN officer of the area T. Sugathasasa had forced her to buy those tiles instead and pocketed the proceeds.
The Department of Social Services has been giving financial assistance to women headed families at the rate of Rs. 20,000 each under Livelihood Assistance Programme but the GN officer had given a cow and calf to each widow and took the balance money.
The same GS officer had threatened these women that he would not offer any assistance provided by the government in future if they brought this matter to the higher authority.
Gnaneswaray says she is unable to bring the injustice to the authority concerned due to fear. The civil society sources ask whether the Vellaveli Divisional Secretary and Vellaveli Police would take appropriate steps in this regard, according to civil society sources.