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DateLine Wednesday, 16 May 2007

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Government Gazette

Tamil party hails Govt. for concern shown to Jaffna people

COLOMBO: The Tamil Democratic Front has voiced its appreciation towards the unstinting efforts of the Government, various state organs and voluntary organisations who came to the rescue of the beleaguered Jaffna population by supplying them with food and other essentials at a time when several international NGOs including the Red Cross left them in the lurch following the closure of the A9 highway.

Issuing a statement, the Front said the day to day life of the ordinary people of Jaffna had returned to normal ending a dark period of nearly two decades.

"A new social and political environment is being built which offers new hope. Many believe the new environment will offer opportunities that would enable the innocent people to attain their aspirations.

The major factor in this context is the Government's intention to open the A9 road" it said. They said their party cannot forget the patriotic leaders of all political parties who came forward to assist the Northern people in their hour of need like Douglas Devananda, T. Maheshwaran and the late Nadaraja Raviraj who were conspicuous in their assistance.

In this context, representatives of Security Forces, the Government Agent, Jaffna, public servants and various sections of the cooperative sector, contributed selflessly to ease the hardships of the people by distributing essential items.

The Petroleum Corporation speedily supplied fuel and the Ceylon Electricity Board installed generators, Sri Lanka Ports Authority built a new harbour to facilitate the shipping of essential goods. The Commissioner of Essential Services supplied essential medicine, it said.

The Ministry of Nation Building and the Jathika Saviya Programme provided CTB services to the area. Even the Prison Department initiated unloading the goods. The role played by political, voluntary and state organisations is highly appreciated.

However, the role of many NGOs in this crisis situation was regrettable. While some social workers volunteered to assist the people in distress some INGOs ignored the Government's appeal,' the Party stated in the release.

It added: "The Government decided to send the essential goods by ship and sought the permissions of the Red Cross to use their flag. But to our regret and surprise they objected.

The Red Cross which claimed as the protector of the People of the North rejected the Government's appeal causing intense disappointment. But the Government was determined to help the innocent people of Jaffna.

Meanwhile, the Government decided to utilise the Jet Liner vessel, which had been used to transport soldiers as a passenger vessel. Considering the situation as a national disaster it was remarkable that the private sector came forward to assist in the endeavour.

As a result the private sector provided ships and airplanes for the transport of goods. Moreover, the Government succeeded in holding the G.C.E. (O/L) examination in the peninsula and provided books and stationery to school in time, the release added.

The release however added that ironically various organisations who were blind to the plight of the people in distress are now claiming to represent their various rights: human rights, right to expression etc.


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