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GOVERNMENT ENGAGED IN LARGE-SCALE RELIEF ACTIVITIES

( Created date: 30-Dec-2004 )

Following the destruction of lives and property caused by the Tsunami waves that hit Sri Lanka on 26th December, the Government of Sri Lanka has embarked on large-scale relief and rehabilitation activities in all affected areas.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse travelled to Jaffna today (30 December) and met many people who have survived the tidal waves. The purpose of his visit was to formalise the distribution of essential items in Jaffna. Hon. Prime Minister was accompanied by Hon. Jeyraj Fernandopulle, Minister of Trade, Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Hon. Susil Premajayantha, Minister of Power and Energy, Hon. Anura Dissanayake, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Land and Irrigation, Mr. Dilan Perera, Deputy Minister of Port and Aviation, and Mr. Wimal Weerawansa, MP.

On 29 December, Honourable D.E.W Gunasekara, Minister of Constitutional Affairs travelled to Jaffna to see the Tsunami-affected areas and to assess the urgent needs of the people.

Mr. Harim Peiris, Director General of the Ministry of Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconciliation visited Jaffna on 29th December. He also visited Kilinochchi and held talks with the LTTE leadership on the disbursement of assistance to disaster-affected areas in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu.

The President has directed all the Government Agents of the affected districts be allocated Rs. 10 million each, for relief efforts. The districts of Jaffna, Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi, Vavuniya in the North and Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Ampara in East were granted an initial sum of Rs. 70 million.

To facilitate the relief activities, a National Relief Operations Unit (NROU) has been established and is headquartered at the Presidential Secretariat. NROU is the apex body that will assist all disaster relief activities undertaken by the various Government and Non Governmental Organisations. A needs assessment and situation analysis are being undertaken by NROU with the help of the special UN team now in Sri Lanka.

To accelerate the redevelopment of the affected areas, the government intends to set up seven Task Forces. The President has appealed to the business community to work in conjunction with these Task Forces. The business community has pledged their sincere support to work with these Task Forces, who will oversee the areas of housing and urban planning, highways, railways, schools, hospitals, tourism, electricity and telecom. The business community is right now involved in numerous immediate relief measures.

The international community has rushed in with aid to help meet the rising needs of relief and rehabilitation. Australia, Canada, China, France, India, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Norway, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, UK, USA are some of the many countries that have assisted with financial aid and other immediate relief measures.

UN agencies, humanitarian agencies, local and foreign NGOs, and the general public are all involved in the monumental task of ensuring relief to the needy and the affected.

The Security Forces have kept the A9 open 24 hours to enable people to seek medical or other assistance needed.

The LTTE Development Secretariat’s request for assistance is being met by the government. Arrangements have been made by Norwegian facilitators for the LTTE Peace Secretariat to be in regular contact with the Government of Sri Lanka in Colombo for the purpose of coordinating disaster relief activities.



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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