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RELIEF AND RECONCILIATION IN 2005

( Created date: 31-Dec-2004 )

Sri Lanka observes a day of official mourning today, as the death toll of the devastating Tsunami waves stand at 28,508 as of 31st December 2004. As concerted relief activities make progress, year 2005 starts on a sad note in the island nation.

According to the Ministry of Social Welfare, 216,084 families are displaced, 76,100 houses fully damaged. The figures are tentative and are expected to rise.

As at 30/12/2004
As at 15.30hrs
District
No. of persons
Houses
Damaged
(Fully
)
Houses
Damaged
(Partially)
No. of.
Camp
s
Displaced
Families
Displaced
Individuals
Deaths
Injured
Missing
Colombo
4395
24500
65
11
12
11
1
54
Gampaha
6400
32000
7
11
11
500
1
10
Kalutara
4836
33794
170
726
31
11
1
66
Galle
11
44582
3724
2500
11
7500
1
150
Matara
12000
40500
1061
4000
11
10000
4500
64
Hambantota
17000
28785
4500
11
11
5000
1
35
Ampara
38624
182387
7911
120
11
16100
1
128
Batticaloa
63424
285408
1901
1106
684
29000
11485
93
Mullativu
5517
24557
1700
2500
1300
4000
1
19
Trincomalee
37714
93407
855
11
11
4000
1
81
Jaffna
13652
48729
2076
541
500
11
1
38
Puttalam
11
11
4
11
11
11
1
1
Pollonnaruwa
11
11
1
11
11
11
1
1
Vavuniya
22
99
140
109
2000
11
1
10
Killinochchi
12500
49286
559
880
62
11
4700
22
Total
216084
888035 24673 12482 4589 76100 20685 770
These figures are tentative and are presented here as reported by the respective District Secretaries

Source:
District Secretaries
Disaster Operation Centre
Ministry of Social Welfare
Sethsiripaya - Baththaramulla

Utmost effort is being put in by all those involved in relief operations; yet many affected areas are still in need of essential items. According to Government Agent (GA) Kilinochchi, Mr. T. Rasanayagam, 25 lorry loads of relief items have been sent by the government and another 15 lorry loads from NGOs and the private sector. "But there is a dire need for sleeping mats, water tanks, rice, flour, bed sheets in Kilinochchi," said Mr. Rasanayagam. Twenty two welfare centres have been set up, there is a task force that sees to the distribution of the relief items, and is chaired by the GA. "We work at the district and divisional levels, and people are working round the clock with total commitment." said Mr. Rasanayagam."

President Chandrika Kumaratunga briefed the foreign and local journalists yesterday on the government's plans to reconstruct the dilapidated infrastructure. "The reconstruction process of the Tsunami-hit areas would begin on January 15, all political parties and the LTTE would be involved," said the President.

The President expressed the view that this disaster is an opportunity to build trust between the Government and the LTTE. She invited Mr. S.P Thamilselvan, LTTE political wing leader to participate in the all party Special Task Force for Disaster Management.

Addressing the diplomatic corps, the President briefed the diplomatic representatives of foreign governments and international organisations on the government's efforts to provide relief to victims of the disaster. She outlined plans for future reconciliation efforts, seeking foreign assistance. The President also thanked all governments for their generous assistance in Sri Lanka's hour of need and condoled with those countries that had lost their own citizens in Sri Lanka at the time of the Tsunami.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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