Bishop pleads for relief aid

[TamilNet, Sunday, 14 November 1999, 17:21 GMT]
Rt.Rev.Joseph Rayappu, Bishop of Mannar today afternoon met the Vanni Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Commander Neil Dias and appealed to him to allow government officials to provide relief and other assistance to the displaced residents of Vavuniya, now living in schools and other public buildings at Asikulam,Rasendrakulam and other villages, Tamil sources said.

The Bishop requested the Commander to allow non-governmental organisations to render necessary relief and help to those displaced people if the state assistance would not be provided, the sources said.

Aid workers say the SLA is not allowing state assistance to be given to the displaced people, stating that they could return to Vavuniya as normalcy has returned.

The Bishop Rt.Rev.Joseph Rayappu met the Deputy Inspector General of the Vanni region Mr.V.Ratnayake today afternoon and requested him to take steps to provide necessary relief supplies to the displaced.

Meanwhile three Parliamentarians Mr.Selvam Adaikalanathan (TELO), Mrs.Rajamanohari Pulendran(UNP) and Mavai Senathirajah (TULF) today toured Asikulam, Rasendrakulam, Sooduventhapulavu and other areas where thousands of displaced Vavuniya people have sought refuge.

They were able to gather first-hand informations about the plight of these refugees who undergo untold hardships as they have not been provided with the necessary state assistance for their existence, sources said.

Later the three parliamentarians met the Bishop of Mannar Rt.Rev.Joseph Rayappu at the Rambaikulam Church. They were asked by the Bishop to take up the question of providing state assistance to these displaced people of Vavuniya, with senior officials in Colombo.

The three parliamentarians then said that they were going to take up this matter with the President.

They pointed out that the state assistance was being given to refugees displaced from Padaviya but not those from Vavuniya.

They said they would request the President to take immediate steps to provide state assistance to the displaced people of Vavuniya also.


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