Sri Lanka in danger of losing Tsunami Aid- Prof. Peiris
[TamilNet, Friday, 11 February 2005, 03:00 GMT]
Failure to reach consensus with the Liberation Tigers in setting up a mechanism that will ensure equitable distribution of aid will lead to Sri Lanka losing large amount of aid pledged by the International community, said Prof G L Peiris, United National Party (UNP) parliamentarian and former Minister of Constitutional Affairs, addressing a press conference held Thursday at the opposition leader's office.
"Sri Lanka Government is not actively enforcing the Cease Fire agreement (CFA). Unknown assassins in the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) Controlled area killed the LTTE Head of Batticaloa-Ampara Political Wing Kousalyan, former parliamentarian Mr. Chandranerhu, and other three members of the LTTE. Srilanka Government should take a firm action with the help of Srilanka Monitoring mission (SLMM) to end killlings in SLA controlled areas. Violence has seriously harmed the peace process and mistrust between the Government of Srilanka and the LTTE has definitely worsend," said Prof Peiris.
"The ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance government doesn't have a well thoughtout plan to rehabilitate the tsunami-affected people and to rebuild the devastated areas. Even after one month, Government's relief supplies have not reached the people who are in urgent need of help.
"SriLanka is in the verge of loosing the tsunami relief foreign aid pledged by the international community as it is unable to reach a consensus with the LTTE in setting up a general mechanism that ensures equitable distribution of relief supplies to the affected people," added Prof Peiris.
"Government is providing relief worth Rs. 365 per week. The rice that is provided is not consumable. Especially the children can't eat it. Flour is not included in the relief supplies. Local and international independent organizations are playing a key role in ensuring that relief supplies are provided to the people.
"If South is not getting the proper relief supplies, the plight of the people in North East is likely to be far worse," said Prof Peiris.
"We are not in a position to accept the government's 100m buffer zone for coastal areas. Even the cabinet ministers Anura Bandaranayake and A. H. M. Fowsy have criticized this plan. Janatha Vimukthy Peramuna (JVP) is silent on the issue of buffer zone. The plan is simply not practical.
"SriLanka has been promised Rs. 95.82 billion of foreign aid. This is more than sufficientot give rupees one hundred thousand per affected person. If Government is eager to give priority to help people affected then there is plenty of opportunity and resources to do so," Prof. Peiris further said..