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"Hijacking relief supply to Trincomalee should be stopped"-Elilan
[TamilNet, Friday, 31 December 2004, 15:26 GMT]
A District Task Force (DTF) was established in the Trincomalee district Friday to co-ordinate all relief supplies to victims of Sunday's Tsunami and take steps for the rehabilitation of the coastal areas destroyed in the calamity with the Government Agent Mr.Gamini Rodrigo as its chairman. Mr.S.Elilan, head of the Trincomalee district political secretariat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Major General Sumith Balasuriya, Commanding Officer of Sri Lanka Army for the Trincomalee district and representatives of international and national non-governmental organizations are other members of the DTF, sources said.
Major General Sumith Balasuriya, Mr.Jayantha Wijesekara, Mr.Thavasilinagam, Trinco NGOs Consortium Chairman , Major Attapattu and Mr.Thooyavan are seated
The DTF has been formed in the midst of several complaints that lorries bringing relief and other essential materials from outstations for distribution to Tsunami victims through the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) are hijacked by parties with vested interests in connivance with a section of the Sri Lanka Army, sources said.
Addressing the conference held Friday to form the DTF Mr.Elilan said that just now he received information that about twenty lorries bringing relief materials to the TRO from upcountry had been forcibly taken by soldiers to an undisclosed site. Such hijacking incidents had taken place in the last few days. This hijacking of relief supply should be stopped, Mr.Elilan stressed.
Major General Balasuriya replied that he was not aware such incident. However he told Mr.Elilan that he could ensure lorries bringing relief materials to TRO to reach their destination if he was given the numbers of such lorries in advance, sources said.
Major General further said the army is not preventing lorries coming to Trincomalee with relief materials. Police are directing such relief lorries to the district secretariat on the instruction of the Government Agent, sources said.
Participants were informed that the subcommittees to be appointed under the DTF would formulate a scheme to co-ordinate the relief supply to affected people without any discrimination, sources said.
SLMM Trincomalee head Mr.Jan Ledang said the SLMM is ready to assist in implementing relief works. He told the participants that good leadership; better co-ordination, wholehearted co-operation and security are needed for the successful implementation of any relief programme.
|Mr. Selvin Ireneus Selvin speaking at the meeting|
Mr.Elilan, LTTE Planning Secretariat Director Mr.Thooyavan, SHIRN Director Mr.Ireneus Selvin, Trincomalee district parliamentarians Mr.R.Sampanthan, Mr.K.Thurairatnasingham and Mr.Jayantha Wijesekara, Major General Sumith Balasuriya also spoke.
TRO Planning Director Mr.Lawrence Christy, LTTE activists Mr.Sanjai, Mr.Kutty, Provincial Rehabilitation Ministry Secretary Mr.V.P.Balasingham also attended the meeting.
(L-R) Mr.Elilan speaking while Mr.Thurairatnasingham, Mr.Sampanthan, Government Agent Mr.Gamini Rodrigo seats