Indian delegation's visit to East, an eyewash: Batticaloa MP
[TamilNet, Saturday, 21 April 2012, 18:01 GMT]
For more than 6 years, five thousand uprooted people from Moothoor East in the Trincomalee district have been languishing in temporary shelters and have been denied resettlement. The Indian parliamentary delegation that had vowed to talk to uprooted Tamils before they departed India, has changed the agenda and was only attending “tea parties” and “opening ceremonies” without hearing the real concerns of the affected people during their visit to East, Tamil National Alliance MP from Batticaloa P. Selvarasa, told media Friday. The itinerary of the delegation was fully decided by the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry, the Tamil MP said.
The TNA parliamentarians from Batticaloa were only invited for a tea party hosted by the Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, but the TNA parliamentarians refrained from attending the tea party, expressing their protest against the deliberate ignorance by the organisers in making necessary arrangements for the visiting Indian delegation to meet with the citizens committee members, civil society representatives, religious dignitaries and the affected people themselves from Ampaa'rai, Batticaloa and Trincomalee districts, Mr. Selvarasa further said.
The MP was of the opinion that the Indian delegation should have at least met the people uprooted from Champoor.
More than 5,000 people, belonging to 1,600 families, have been deprived of resettlement and entirely abandoned after the Indian backed coal power plant project in Champoor.
For the last four months, the families have even been deprived of receiving the assistance from the World Food Programme, he said.
The visiting Indian delegation “re-opened” a labour training centre at Vanthaa'rumooalai before proceeding to Upcountry. The TNA was not invited to the event.
The visit of the Indian parliamentary delegation to the eastern province was a mere eyewash, the MP told media.
He further said parliamentarians from the east had not attended any event organized for the visit of the Indian parliamentary delegation as the agenda included only tea and lunch.
Only the TNA hierarchy met the Indian delegation on April 16. The Indian team had changed its agenda once arrived according to the wishes of the Colombo government, he said.