Foundation stone laid for Kilinochchi hospital building

[TamilNet, Sunday, 09 March 2003, 05:39 GMT]
Mr. Tadoa Chino, the president of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), laid the foundation stone for a new hospital building in Kilinochchi Friday during a ceremony organized by the Government Agent (GA) of Kilinochchi, T. Rasanayagam and the Sub-Committee on Immediate Humanitarian and Rehabilitation Needs in the North and East (SIHRN), sources said.

ADB's Country Director Mr.John R.Cooney, Director General Mr.Yoshihiro Iwasaki, South Asia's Operations/Co-ordinating Secretary Mr.Haffez Rahman, Dr.Canton, Representative of WHO, Mr.S.Rangarajan the Chief Secretary of the NEPC, Mr.Selvyn Iranius the Director General of SIHRN, Mr.K.Ganesh GA Vavuniya, Mr.C.Pathmanathan GA Jaffna, Mr.V.Visvalingam GA Mannar, Mr.S.Thangan, LTTE's Deputy Head of the Political wing, Daya Master, LTTE political activist, and Mr.Sinnappa master of theThamileelam Administrative Service,officials of the Health sector and other Heads of Departments in Kilinochchi were also present at the function.

Mr. Selvin Eraneuss, Director of SIHRN outlined the responsibility of his directorate in contributing to ensuring development in all regions of North east.

He said that sometimes the existing state structures such as Provincial Councils have limitations in their operations as they come under the central government. But SIHRN has a mandate to look after every corner of the north and east and the needs of the people.

Mr. S.Rangarajan the Chief Secretary of the North and East Provincial Council said, "we are endeavouring to bring back and establishing a stability in uncertainties. That is our present motto and to a great extent whatever that happens outside the administration, but administration will be more stable and we will create a very good conducive environment for the people and the development process to succeed. With this assurance, we look forward for more helping hand from the ADB.

"It is unique that in a conflict area particularly in a war tone area the international banks like the ADB are willing to invest inspite of significant risks involved. World Bank is also engaging itself in a similar fashion. This experience and results can be shared globally, and other countries in similar situations can benefit from the experience gained in North East of Sri Lanka," added Mr. Rangarajan.

Mr. T. Lankanesan, the project director of North East Community Restoration (NECORD) described the role the ADB in the development of the north east in his speech.

Full text of Lankanesan's speech follows:

"Asian Development Bank is one of the few partners who are helping to reconstruct the war ravaged north and east. The A9 highway, Rs.40 m. NECORD project, electrification of Jaffna district are a few projects that are receiving support from ADB.

The water supply project for Batticaloa district, Muthur water supply project and east coastal conservation and development projects are some of the projects of the ADB that are in the planning stage.

I wish to thank Mr.John Cooney, the country director of the ADB, for his contribution to the restoration of the communities in the north and east.

Mr. President I thank you very much for accepting our invitation to lay the foundation stone for the hospital in Kilinochchi district.

Kilinochchi was the theatre of conflict where human sufferings reached high levels. The total population of the Kilinochchi district migrated to other districts. Kilinochchi district used to be an exporter of agriculture produces and fish to other parts of Sri Lanka. The people who fled depended on their friends and relatives for their survival. The affluent farming and the fishing population of Kilinochchi became victims of the war and lost their homes, their livlihoods and all their material possessions.

Kilinochchi district is emerging from the ashes. Majority of the displaced people have returned. During the war even the hospital of Kilinochchi was not spared. The hospital was totally damaged. The skeleton staff shifted the hospital to Mallavi and it functioned in without adequate physical infrastructure, medical personnel, medicine and laboratory facilities.

In Sri Lanka health is free for all - from headache to heart attack the citizens receive free treatment in state hospitals. People do not pay for the preventive and curative health services they require. But the population of Kilinochchi is suffering without adequate medical facilities. They have to travel 50 miles either north or south to get treatment from another hospital. Death on the way to the hospital was common and several lives were lost due to non availability of urgent medical attention.

Disasters provide opportunities for development. Here is an opportunity to build a state of the art hospital for the people of Kilinochchi. It is their top priority. Under NECORD Rs.70 million is available for the first phase of the construction. We whole heartedly thank Mr.John Cooney the country director and the ADB for their invaluable contribution.

I am confident that through this project Kilinochchi will have a modern hospital and the people will be ever grateful to you. Generations of tamils will remember you for this help."


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