Few in Jaffna get resettlement aid

[TamilNet, Saturday, 03 May 2003, 04:58 GMT]
Forty thousand families in the Jaffna have applied to the Government Agent for assistance to resettle in their homes in the war ravaged northern peninsula, a senior official said. “Although eight percent of the Jaffna district population is in dire need of material and financial support to rebuild their homes destroyed or damaged in the war, we got funds to make part payments to only to 4112 families after January this year," he said.

7968 families were selected in January for the first stage of resettlement assistance payments. Families were selected only in the Chavakachcheri, Maruthankerni and Pallai administrative divisions of the Jaffna district. The first stage payment is 25000 rupees (USD 259) for buying household goods for resettlement.

“Other families which were selected but not paid, are making a beeline to offices of the Divisional Secretaries, pleading for their due”, the official said.

Families fled the intense fighting and unannounced artillery barrages by the SLA with as little as they could carry, leaving behind all their household good, which were burnt or looted, or simply decayed, exposed to the elements for months.

Payment for repairs to destroyed and damaged houses has been fixed at 75000 rupees (774 USD) for each qualified family.

“We are strapped for funds to complete the payments for the families which were selected in January. We don’t know how or when Colombo would consider releasing funds for the second stage, which is a much larger amount," the official at the Jaffna District Secretariat told Tamilnet.

 

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