TRO appeals for humanitarian assistance to war IDPs

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 26 April 2006, 11:48 GMT]
In an urgent appeal issued from its offices in Colombo Wednesday, the Tamils Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) appealed to the International Red Cross, UNHCR, Bilateral and Multilateral donors for humanitarian assistance to the Internally Displaced People (IDP) due to the war in the east.

Full text of the appeal follows:

Urgent Crisis Appeal

Thousands of persons from Ralkuli, Kadakaraichchenai, Senaiyoor, Sampoor, Ilakkanthai, Sudaikuda, Paddalipuram and Upparu in the Trincomalee district have been displaced due to the ongoing air, sea, and ground attacks by the Security Forces of Government of Sri Lanka. The IDPs affected by the previous week’s communal violence are also streaming into LTTE controlled areas from the government controlled areas. The number of IDPs has passed the 30,000 mark and continues to rise.

Due to extensive and continuous shelling and bombing the relief and rescue efforts are being severely hampered and travel to the affected areas to carry out humanitarian work has been nearly impossible.

The disaster management structure of the TRO, though it has been severely impacted, has responded to this emergency and the TRO staff and volunteers are assisting the IDPs. In addition to the IDPs and destruction to civilian structures TRO has sustained the following damage itself:

  • The Santhosam Children's Home run by TRO which cares for over 40 orphaned children suffered a direct hit by a Kfir bomb and the number of causalities and extent of damage is unknown.
  • A Transit Camp for Tsunami affected IDPs run by TRO with UNICEF assistance has been shelled
  • TRO’s office at Kadakarachenai has also been severely damaged.

The extent of civilian causalities is not known but it is anticipated to be significant.

The IDPs consist of children, women, men and disabled of all ages who are seeking shelter in Temples, Mosques and Churches in the LTTE controlled areas.

TRO appeals to all international humanitarian agencies to urgently respond to the following needs:

  • Food (including infant/children’s needs)
  • Shelter
  • Water & Sanitation
  • Non-Food Relief (cooking utensil, clothing, etc)
  • Medicine & Medical Personnel
  • Special needs of pregnant and lactating mothers

Access to, and procurement of, these items is severally hampered as these items are not available in the LTTE controlled areas and transportation from government controlled areas is impossible. There are two co-op shops in these affected areas and neither have adequate stock to deal with the current and anticipated needs. Small shops that were previously open for business have all been closed due to the security situation.

There are also no hospitals in the area and the two available medical centers and dispensaries are staffed by visiting doctors and nurses. Thus far these medical personnel have been unable to report for work due to the continuing shelling.

TRO calls upon the ICRC and other international agencies to provide urgent relief and humanitarian assistance.

TRO also requests the Government of Sri Lanka to permit access to the affected areas.

V. Sivanadiyar
TRO President
077 981 4856


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