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Serving Sri Lanka

This web log is a news and views blog. The primary aim is to provide an avenue for the expression and collection of ideas on sustainable, fair, and just, grassroot level development. Some of the topics that the blog will specifically address are: poverty reduction, rural development, educational issues, social empowerment, post-Tsunami relief and reconstruction, livelihood development, environmental conservation and bio-diversity. 

Monday, May 23, 2005

Dependancy Mentality

LBO: Lanka Business Online: 20/05/2005"

The slow pace of resettlement and employment generation is creating dependency mentality, says a local NGO.

PAFFREL a local election monitoring NGO says that tsunami victims are developing dependency mentality on aid and that the 100m buffer rule compounds the problem.

"The pace of the resettlement and reconstruction program has been slow due to problems of identifying, surveying and acquisition of alternative land, on account of the 100 meter buffer zone limit," says PAFFREL in a report.

However the 100m buffer zone rule has not stopped buildings from coming up in the no-building zone.

PAFFREL says that in some districts like Galle, Matara and Batticaloa, NGOs and individuals have constructed houses within the 100m buffer zone.

In others, voluntary organisations have initiated a dialogue between the government officials regarding the 100 meter limit.

But in LTTE controlled areas like Mullaitivu and Kilinocchi people are given no chance to object people have no chance to object.

"It is reported that there is no chance of conflict because, the Emergency Task Force, set up by the LTTE is in charge of relief, rehabilitation and resettlement operations," says PAFFREL.

The organisation says problems regarding the abuse of children and women and fraud in the distribution of aid and financial assistance was almost non-existent in Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi and Jaffna.

“Either the reports provided, do not reveal the true situation or the discipline imposed by the LTTE has eliminated such problems,” PAFFREL observed.

However, in the rest of the island, people are getting used to the administration delays and to sitting around waiting for aid.

"The resumption of previous employment by the displaced is at low level. Some have felt the urgency for employment and self effort. But many suffer from dependency mentality," says PAFFREL.

In February the International Labour Organisation (ILO) warned that over 300,000 people in Sri Lanka will be unemployed by the end of this year, if aid is not properly channelled.

The tsunami left around 600,000 people - mainly in fishing, agricultural and tourism activity - with no means of earning a living.

The ILO estimated that unemployment in tsunami-affected provinces of the island went up by 20 percent or more, adding to national unemployment figures.

However, as much as 60 percent of the affected populations could get back to earning a living by the end of this year and 85 percent of lost jobs could be restored by end of next year if, recovery operations are channeled right.

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