UN Envoy Wahlstrom visits Jaffna district

[TamilNet, Sunday, 16 January 2005, 17:15 GMT]
Ms. Margareta Wahlstrom, United Nations Secretary General's Special Envoy Sunday visited Jaffna district, UN sources said. Accompanied by Ms. Miguel Bermieo, UNDP Country Director UN and representatives of Fisheries Co-operative Societies she visited Tsunami destroyed coastal areas from Point Pedro to Valvettithurai.

Ms Wahlstrom held discussions with representatives of about 28 fisheries societies from Thondamannaru to Kudathanai and officials of the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Point Pedro Common Hall.

Ms Margareta Wahlstrom
UN Special Envoy Ms Margareta Wahlstrom.
Ms Wahlstrom agreed to waive loans provided by the UNDP for the development of fisheries industry as the entire coastal areas have been destroyed by Tsunami on an appeal by fisheries representatives, sources said.

Fisheries representatives requested the UN special envoy to modernize fisheries industry when rebuilding it after Tsunami. They also pointed out the financial assistance provided by the Sri Lanka government has not reached them till now. The government has been showing discrimination to Tamil fishermen in compensating their damages, they brought to the notice of the UN special envoy, sources said

She said she would be forwarding a comprehensive report to the UN headquarters shortly. However before implementing a long-term plan to rebuild the devastated the fisheries industry, action should be taken to provide temporary relief to the fisher folk, she added.

She told the fisheries representatives that action would be taken to establish a modern boatyard in Jaffna district. She at the conclusion of her Jaffna visit returned to Colombo Sunday evening by a special flight from Palaly, sources said.


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