With the torrential monsoon rains lashing the Vanni district, the Government has stepped up its release measures by dispatching tents and auxiliary equipment for the thousands of Internally Displaced Persons, roughing it out in the open and experiencing great hardship, Presidential Secretariat sources said yesterday.
Minister of Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services Risad Baduideen, who was in Vavuniya yesterday to personally direct the relief operations said that it was not the intention of President Mahinda Rajapaksa or the Government to deprive Tamil civilians of essential food drug or shelter irrespective of the area where they lived.
He said that he was in discussions with the Heads of UNHCR and other agencies to send the relief requested by the Kilinochchi District Secretary K. Vethanayagam.
Minister of Highways T. B.Ekanayake said that Government was taking urgent ladder to reconstruct the road to Mullaithivu via Oddisuddan and Nedunkerni from Puliyankulam to facilitate the smooth passage of food convoys without a hitch.
He said following the recent incident where a food convoy of 20 trucks dispatched by the administration last Monday being temporarily delayed due to a damage to a culvert a few kilometers from Puliyankulam, President Mahinda Rajapaksa had directed the instant reconstruction of the main road to Mullaithivu.
He said that he had released Rs 15 million from an estimated Rs 40 million and was holding meeting with the Military top brass in the Vanni and the Heads of the UN and the ICRC to seek their assistance in reconstructing the road a few Bailey bridges where needed.
The AGA for Nedunkerni and Coordinator for Relief Assistance to the Mullaithivu and the Kilinochchi sectors K. Paranthaman said that with the Rs 15 million in hand he was taking action to reconstruct the one and a half kilometer stretch from Puliyankulam to Sannasiparanthan and replace three or more culverts that were damaged.
The AGA said that the government had opened New Coordinating offices for the District Secretaries of Mullaithivu Mrs Emelda Sukumar and Kilinochchi K. Vethanayagam at the Vavuniya Kachcheri under the supervision of GA Vavuniya Mrs P. S. M. Charles for all relief activities for the IDPs.