Competent Authority ensures...:
Equal treatment for every person
** Approx. 86,000 people reach after May 17
** Over 40 INGOs and NGOs provide relief work
** Special administrative plan to equally
treat every IDP
First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa visited the Menik Farm welfare
centre in Chettikulam last Friday
Maj. Gen. G.A. Chandrasiri, Minister Rishad Bathiudeen and UN
special envoy Vijay Nambiar during last week’s visit
Medical camps conducted in the welfare centres
Liberation is not just for the soldiers. The true liberation is
creating an environment for the entire population of one nation to live
in peace and harmony - without fear for life.
Bringing back a normal life for the people who lived under such
strain where existence for them and their children was the topmost
question, could be the toughest challenge.
One has to identify the dire situations they faced. For our own
brethren who lived under the iron clutches of the LTTE for generations
undergoing innumerable dilemmas, normalcy seemed something unreachable.
At the moment the country needs to take care of nearly 200,000
displaced women, men and children of all ages.
The terrorists threw them into the streets, robbing their meagre
earnings like scavengers and at the end isolated them when the people
mostly needed the so-called liberators. Though it was reiterated over
international media on silencing their guns to avoid innocent blood
spill there was no doubt it was just a shriek in desperation. They made
life a hell for their own people.
"We have taken all the measures, with the support of the Non
Governmental Organizations as well as the Government institutes to
swiftly provide relief for these displaced people," Major General G.A.
Chandrasiri, the Competent Authority for providing relief assistance to
the displaced of the entire North said.
Maj. Gen. Chandrasiri being the Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Army,
was appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Competent Authority
for coordination, administration and implementation of all welfare and
relief work for displaced Wanni civilians in April to supervise this
With this new change, military discipline has blended well with the
civil administration. At the moment 41 Non Governmental Organizations
which includes five United Nation agencies, International Organization
for Migration (IOM) and such INGOs.
"We don't wait till the displaced people reach this place. We were
preparing shelter, hygienic facilities, water etc well ahead since they
need a comfortable place to stay the moment we take them in," Maj. Gen.
Providing the basic facilities to these people should be well
organized, streamlined since it is essential to assure that each and
every person gets equal treatment. This responsibility is solely of the
people's Government and no one else. Many may comment, criticize on a
variety of grounds but it is the Government that will be answerable to
the entire nation. Government officials are separately appointed to
supervise every facility provided for the people.
Main areas are divided into several sections - shelter, roads,
drainage, electricity, cooperative and trade stalls, education, food
supply, health, water sanitation, counselling and psychological health,
childcare, religious and for release of elders and rejoining families.
Sharply observing the structure it is obvious that food, water,
medicine and shelter are not the only concerns. This is the master plan
for all four model villages namely the Anandha Kumaraswamy relief
village, Ramanathan relief village, Arunachalam relief village and
Kadhirgamar relief village. In the process of getting prepared for the
newcomers, relief workers under the directives of the competent
authority office were putting up 500 shelters per day.
Dividing the Menik Farm into four zones, for efficient
administration, the model villages are already put up with several
modern amenities taking place in each.The Ananda Kumaraswamy village is
put up in the Menik farm zone one, the Ramanathan village in the zone 2,
Arunachalum village in zone 3 and the Kadirgamar village as the Menik
Farm model village.
Zone 1,2, and 3 is situated combined with each other in an area of
1400 acres, and the Kadirgamar village with 1000 acres.
The zone 4 is getting prepared for habitation in Parayankulam, just
two kilometers from the Menik Farm.
"Orphan children below 10 years are given the chance to be with their
relatives. Even that is only if the facts are confirmed by the other
parties," Maj. Gen. Chandrasiri added. According to the Competent
Authority even elders above 60 years are allowed to join their relatives
instead of staying in the welfare centres. These are not the only
welfare centres for internally displaced people that are looked after by
the Competent Authority Office. In Mannar three welfare centres are
functioning while a total of 22 welfare centres are in Vavuniya. Weli
Oya three IDP welfare centres are functioning and Jaffna has 11 welfare
centres."The service should be given to the people and not to highlight
individual organizations. All who contribute to this entire operation
must have the same intention to provide the necessary facilities to
these people in an organized manner," Maj. Gen. Chandrasiri stated
facilities for 210,000
A total of 86,000 people
reached the Welfare camps in Vavuniya after May 17, 2009,
Competent Authority Major General G.A. Chandrasiri stated.
This brings the total number of displaced innocent Tamil
civilians sheltered in welfare camps to 210,000.
"We were getting prepared
well before they reached our welfare centres. Accordingly
food, water, medical facilities etc are provided
adequately," Maj.Gen. Chandrasiri confirmed.As Maj. Gen.
Chandrasiri explained most of the people who were staying
here for sometime have already started community style
cooking-where the community gets together to prepare their
own meals. After receiving the necessary utensils each
family will be able to prepare their own meals and the food
"As soon as displaced people
come here we provide them with cooked meals for the first
three days and after the three days preparations are made
for them to start their own cooking," he
added.Simultaneously the Ministry of Resettlement and
Disaster Relief Services under the directives of Minister
Rishad Badhiudeen ensures adequate supply of essential items
- food and non food - to all the welfare centres. Giving the
highest priority at this national requirement the ministry
is taking all the measures to provide comfortable
accommodation for these innocent displaced civilians
treating them with equality.
A trade stall set up in a welfare centre
Proper sanitary facilities
A mini garment factory inside the welfare camp
A primary school inside the Menik Farm premises
Adequate drinking water is provided continously to all