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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. 

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Thirty complaints against officials handling tsunami relief

Daily News: 19/05/2005" by Nadira Gunatilleke

Seven officials charged with pilfering tsunami aid have been interdicted and investigations are proceeding. The Women's Empowerment and Social Welfare Ministry have received about 30 complaints regarding Tsunami relief malpractices, Acting Social Welfare Minister S.M. Chandrasena said.

He said that no human rights organisation has reported to the Ministry about misuse or not receiving Tsunami aid so far. The Ministry is ready to investigate such incidents as soon as similar incidents are reported to the Ministry.

The media helped to disclose malpractices related to tsunami relief distribution and it decrease the number of malpractice incidents. The authorities started investigations on incidents after the media reported them. The persons who were planning to engage in malpractice abandoned their plans after the media started to report them.

"I came from Horowpathana where the LTTE massacred 34 innocent people including infants in one night. I saw what had happened to the people in Horowpathana but I support the joint mechanism.

This strategy does not divide the country but unites it. This Joint Mechanism helps to use Tsunami relief effectively. Otherwise the valuable aid sent by foreign countries will be wasted or misused. JHU confused the donor countries by opposing Joint Mechanism at the donor forum," the Acting Minister added. Chandrasena said that the Women's Empowerment and Social Welfare Ministry carries out other routine relief programs such as flood relief programs, drought relief programs long before and after the Tsunami hit Sri Lanka but sometimes Opposition politicians use this to sling mud, saying we distribute Tsunami aid in inland areas not affected by Tsunami.

The Ministry receives foreign relief for the victims of other natural disasters such as floods, droughts, cyclones and landslides but now it seems that all have forgotten the victims of other natural disasters and they never get relief, he added.

The Acting Minister revealed those details during an interview held on Tuesday (17) at his office, Sethsiripaya, Battaramulla.


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