Development meeting

[TamilNet, Friday, 17 July 1998, 23:59 GMT]
The Government Agents (GAs) of the five districts of northern Sri Lanka, met with N. Obadage, the Chairman of the Relief and Rehabilitation Authority of the North (RRAN), in Trincomalee today, to brief him on the projects earmarked in their districts for financial assistance from the Australian Government, said sources in Trincomalee.

The meeting, chaired by N. Vinayagalingam, Secretary for the Northeastern Provincial Ministry of Relief and Rehabilitation, met to discuss projects for rehabilitation and reconstruction with the GAs of Jaffna, Mannar, Vavuniya, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu.

Speaking at the discussion, R. Tharmakulasingham, the GA for Mullaitheevu, an area largely under Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) control, said that he did not expect great benefit from the rehabilitation programme for the 200,000 displaced persons in the Mullaitheevu district, but there were certain basic shortcomings that could be rectified.

With Northeast monsoon expected in the latter part of the year, roads in the District would be impassable. This would be an obstacle for food convoys coming into the District from Vavuniya and for ambulances transporting the sick. He requested that repairs to the roads be undertaken urgently.

He also said that irrigation schemes in Mullaitheevu required rehabilitation.

It was unlikely that some of the rain fed irrigation schemes would remain intact by the end of the forthcoming monsoon. He added that the dikes of some of the rain water tanks had already been destroyed, denying regulated water supply to farmers in the area.

S. Rasanayagam, GA for the strife torn Kilinochchi, outlining the projects identified for assistance in his District, also made a request for roads in Kilinochchi to be repaired.

T. Vaithilingam, (Additional GA - Jaffna District), said that unemployment was becoming a problem in Jaffna and wanted income generating projects to be initiated in the District. The government agents of Vavuniya and Mannar also spoke.

Mr. Obadage said that there were 100,000 displaced persons to be resettled in the North.

A regular service to transport these refugees by sea, whereby 350 passengers would ferried to the north daily, would be initiated shortly.

He said that his discussion with the GAs was a prelude to a meeting with secretaries of the central government ministries, to find out what problems could crop up when these projects came to be implemented, and how they could be circumvented.

He said that 170 projects were being implemented in the Northeast with foreign assistance, involving a financial outlay of 750 million rupees (1 US $ = approx. 62.00 rupees).

 

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