80% tsunami displaced in NorthEast, still in temporary shelters- TRO
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 26 December 2006, 12:19 GMT]
"Almost 80% of the Tsunami displaced in some districts of the NorthEast of the island, which sustained 65% of the tsunami destruction and deaths, continue to languish in Temporary Shelter Camps or have been displaced once again due to military offensives, bombing, and shelling," said Tamils Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) in its two-year tsunami report, issued in Colombo, Tuesday.
The TRO report listed the following as the key contributing factors of the slower implementation of tsunami recovery activities in the NorthEast compared to the rapid recovery that is seen in the South of Sri Lanka:
- the [disproportionate] allocation of governmental resources by the GoSL,
- the lack of a management structure (P-TOMS),
- “political influence” and the lack of it,
- the centralization of bureaucracy and decision making with the “Central Government” in Colombo,
- the GoSL’s “slower” rate of disbursement of funds to tsunami affected persons in the NorthEast,
- the lesser number of iNGOs (per capita) working in the NorthEast (as opposed to the south) which resulted in less funds and other resources (per capita) being available in the NorthEast, and
- the difficulties that iNGOs and local NGOs have in working in the NorthEast due to GoSL restrictions, regulations and harassment
TRO Tsunami related projects are currently on hold due to the current “security situation” and the fact that the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) froze the TRO Sri Lanka Bank Accounts for 6 months “for investigation” on 28 August 2006, the report said.
Approximately, Rs. 80,000,000 (US$ 800,000) was in the bank accounts at the time of freezing. These funds, 80% of which come from iNGOs, the UN, the GoSL, ADB, World Bank, and various other multi-lateral and bi-lateral donors, are all in “project specific accounts” destined for specific Tsunami Projects chosen by TRO’s donor/partners. As a result all work on these projects has ceased for lack of funds, the report added.
TRO continues its humanitarian relief work with IDPs despite the freezing of the bank accounts by the CBSL, officials of the Colombo TRO office said.
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