Normalcy to return to Vaharai soon– Minister

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 07 February 2007, 02:15 GMT]
Vaharai Regional secretariat and Vaharai regional council presently relocated to Valaichenai will begin functioning at their original locations beginning Wednesday. Displaced civilians from the nine Grama Sevaka divisions will be resettled within the next four weeks, Mr.M.S.S.Amir Ali, Minister for Disaster Management and Rehabilitation announced in a meeting held at Ottamvady regional secretariat building, Tuesday 9:00 a.m. sources said.

Officials of the various departments involved in the resettlement process will be permitted to enter the area beginning Wednesday, to attend to preliminary activities to re-establish internal functions, minister added.

The high level meeting was chaired by M.S.S.Amir Ali. The meeting held under tight security was attended by a number of high ranking government official including Eastern province Governor Rear Admiral Mohan Wijeyawickrama, Commander of joint forces for Vaharai Region Brigadier Dhaya Ratnayake Deputy Inspector General of Police, Batticaloa Senior police Suprintendent Maxi Proctor, Government Agent S.Arumainayagam, officials of Eastern province councils, security service officials, regional secretaries, representatives of volunteer organizations, additional secretary of the Ministry for National Development M.I.S.Ahamed, and heads of departments from a number of Ministries.

Heavy security arrangements were provided around the secretariat building with a number of buffel armoured vehicles stationed at various strategic locations.

The situation of the civilians displaced from Vaharai and Batticaloa district was the main topic of the discussions at the meeting. The Governor Mohan Wijeyawickrama, issued strict orders that none of the developmental activities in Vaharai should be delayed citing financial constraints. If the expense estimates are submitted, the funds will be released with two hours and already 16 Billion rupees have been ear marked and readily available, additional secretary Mr.Mohammed said.

Amir Ali speaking at the meeting said adequate supply of essential food items are already in stock and the Government Agent would be responsible to prevent any shortage of food in the area.

Some of the Grama Sevakas in the area have complained of severe food shortage of food items in some welfare centres.

Due to the recent attacks by Sri Lanka Army (SLA) troops for the past two months, more than 44000 civilians from Vaharai including those already displaced from Muthur are being accommodated in the regional divisions in Batticaloa district. Most of the displaced civilians have refused to return to Vaharai unless proper security arrangement is provided, However, they are being forcibly returned to the area.

 

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