Vaharai IDPs protest lack of shelter
[TamilNet, Friday, 29 September 2006, 14:15 GMT]
Hundreds of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) protested Friday in Vaharai demanding flow of humanitarian relief into Vaharai where 34,000 civilians have sought refuge in 6 welfare centres. Amid increased fear of health hazards during the expected monsoon rains in October, the protesting IDPs currently forced to live in open terrain, demanded temporary huts. "Only UNHCR, UNICEF and ICRC are allowed to enter our area. We are in urgent need of housing. But, Sri Lankan authorities are not allowing these organizations to bring in shelters," a protester said after submitting an appeal to Divisional Secretary Kiritharan.
S. Chelliah, an IDP from Eachilampattu, concluding the protest march in front of the Divsional Secretariat complained that the UN agencies and the ICRC were even not allowed to supply the required humanitarian relief.
700 grams of rice is supplied for a week per person based on a weekly ration, the IDP said.
"We are stranded here as IDPs for more than 8 weeks, only 3 weeks rations have been supplied so far."
The IDPs complain that the GoSL authorities were not allowing the agencies to transport material to build temporary huts, and other basic relief supplies as required.
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