தமிழ்த் தேசியம்

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."

- Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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தமிழ் அகம் -   ஓர் உணர்வா, அல்லது இடமா?

CONTENTS
OF THIS SECTION

Last updated
18/08/07

Tsunamis and Earthquakes "Tsunamis - sometimes incorrectly called tidal waves - are extremely powerful waves caused by large undersea disturbances. (The name tsunami derives from Japanese for 'harbor wave' reflecting the fact that harbors can concentrate the energy of a tsunami. True tidal waves, also known as tide waves, are long-period waves associated with the tide-producing forces of the moon and the sun and which are identified with the rising and falling of the tide.)"

Tamils around the World  Rally to Support Victims of Tsnumai in Tamil Eelam

Tsunami & the Killing of Pirapaharan! - New Delhi's RAW & its Running Dogs...

Tsunami & an Outpouring of Poems - Kavithaikal - சுனாமி கவிதைகள் "The healing power of poetry - the Truth that lives within each and every one of us; the Truth that always liberates and never dies..."
Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO)
Eastern University, Sri Lanka - Tsunami Information Centre
Maps of Tsunami Affected Areas in the island of Sri Lanka
Catastrophes of the past in Tamil Aham: poetic exaggeration or scientific facts?
பேரலைகளால் இறந்தோர் விபரம் at Yarl.com
Video clips from the aftermath of the Tsunami disaster
நேர்காணல் -

அவுஸ்திரேலிய இன்பத் தமிழ் ஒலி வானொலிக்கு திருமலை கட்டளைத்தளபதி கேணல் சொர்ணம் வழங்கிய நேர்காணல் (03.01.05)

அவுஸ்திரேலிய இன்பத் தமிழ் ஒலி வானொலிக்கு மட்டு. அம்பாறை அரசியற்துறை பொறுப்பாளர் கௌசல்யன் வழங்கிய நேர்காணல் (03.01.05)

புலிகளின் குரல் வானொலிக்கு தமிழர் புனர்வாழ்வுக் கழகத்தின் திட்டமிடல் பணிப்பாளர் லோறன்ஸ் கிறிஸ்டி வழங்கிய நேர்காணல் (27.12.04)

26.01.06 வடமராட்சி கிழக்கு உடுத்துறையில் ஆழிப்பேரலையில் உயிரிழந்தவர்களின் உடல்கள் புதைக்கப்பட்ட இடத்தில் நடைபெற்ற
வணக்க நிகழ்வின் படத்தொகுப்பு

 


Disaster Appeal from Killinochchi Medical Association

Tsunami in Eelam
Living Heritage Tsunami Trincomalee Relief - Kataragama Trust

Photos - Courtesy
Tamilnet & Tamil Naatham

Devastation in..

 ...Mullaitivu - situation grim
Coastal villages of Koyilkudiyiruppu, Mullivaykal, Kallappadu, Silavaththai, Alampil, and Unnappuluvu in Mullaitivu district were severely hit by the tidal waves.














...Trincomalee
Nilaveli, Sambaltheevu, Linganagar, Kuchchaveli, Pulmoddai, Kinniya and Mutur are among the villages that were severely hit in Trincomalee district.





Mariamman Temple, Gopalapuram

more Trincomalee  photos

Batticaloa...



..Jaffna
Kaddaikadu, Uduthurai, Aaliyawalai, Chempianpattu, Maruthankerni, Vettilaikerni villages in Vadamaradchy East are severely affected by flash flooding





...Vadamaratchi




more photos from Vadamaratchi

...Amparai



more photos from Amparai & Thirukovil

more photos at Eelavision

Tsunami Disaster & Tamil Eelam

[see also Tsunami Disaster & Tamil Nadu]

கடற்புவி நடுக்க ஆழிப்பேரலை:
உலகத் தமிழர்களுக்கு கவிஞர் அறிவுமதி வேண்டுகோள்!

Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation -  Coordination & Support Centre, Tsunami Disaster Management Unit (DMU)  "To address the immediate and life-threatening relief and rehabilitation needs of those affected by the Tsunami in the NorthEast of Sri Lanka, the Tamils Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) has set up a Disaster Management Unit (DMU) at its head office in Colombo. Our objective is to co-ordinate all emergency relief work in the NorthEast and we have many dedicated employees and volunteers working around the clock. The DMU is structured to address urgent needs and maximize efficiency and we have identified and established the following divisions: Medical, Logistics & Procurement, Communication & Media, Data collection & management, Finance / Administration. The DMU is fully functional and has been delivering emergency relief items to affected areas in the NorthEast from day one of the disaster. "


14 July 2006 Joint Evaluation of the international response to the Indian Ocean tsunami: Synthesis Report. London: Tsunami Evaluation Coalition. - Telford, J, and J Cosgrave
April 2006 Tsunami - A study on disaster response in Sri Lanka - Claudia von Braunmühl
Reinhardt Bolz, Linus Jayatilake Bread for the World, Kath Noble Heinrich Böll Foundation, Shreen Saroor medico international
June 2005 Report on Emergency Relief and Rehabilitation for Tsunami Affected Sri Lanka, 26 December 2004 – 26 June 2005

"Six months after a devastating tsunami overwhelmed the coast of Sri Lanka on 26 December 2004, the Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) is publishing this report to provide awareness of its tsunami related activities including current projects, challenges and partners. " more

7 April 2005 SANGAMAM - East Meets West - Classical Indian Carnatic Music concert by Western Instrumental musicians  in aid of Asian Tsunami Relief
4 April 2005 Reporting on a Visit to Tamil Eelam - Shiranee Pararajasingham from Australia
1 April 2005 Tsunami Disaster Situation Report – Sri Lanka Report Number 4 - Jointly published by Tamil Information Centre (UK), Centre for Human Rights and Development (Sri Lanka)
26 March 2005 எரிமலைகொழும்பிலிருந்து ஒலிபரப்பாகும் சக்தி FM வானொலியின் எரிமலை நிகழ்ச்சிக்கு தமிழ்த் தேசியக் கூட்டமைப்பின் நாடாளுமன்ற உறுப்பினர் ஈழவேந்தன் வழங்கிய பேட்டி  part 1 part - 2
22 March 2005 'Mr.Kadirgamar is not impressed' Interview on BBC Hard Talk - Video Presentation - also in audio

"Sri Lanka suffered the second highest number of casualties in the Indian Ocean tsunami. Thirty thousand people died and one million were left homeless. Three months on, what is the state of affairs in a country already ravaged by the effects of thirty years of civil war? The tsunami disaster was seen as an opportunity to re-start stalled peace talks but it seems to have only heightened tensions, with accusations the government is deliberately withholding aid from going to controlled areas. HARDtalk spoke with Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister about reconstruction efforts and the tense situation between the government and the LTTE, Tamil Tiger rebel group."

 "BBC: What is the government's response to the accusation that aid is being withheld from Tamil Tiger areas? 

Kadirgamar. Totally and horribly false - this is being put about by mischief makers and propagandists..  Take the food situation  in the first two months. Earlier on there were accusations that people in the Tamil areas were starving and had no water - that was a load of rubbish.."

BBC: It is not only Tamil Tigers who are saying this. Local NGOs are saying it. Western Aid organisations..  Let me tell you what John Charly from Refugees International said - he says that the Government when faced with the choice of spending foreign aid in Galle in the south  or in Tamil areas in the North and East, the government would give it in Galle where its Sinhala constituencies are based

Kadirgamar: That is a wholly unsubstantiated allegation.

BBC: This is not a Tiger rebel saying it, is it

Kadirgamar:  I do not know who he is

BBC: He is a western NGO. He is one of many NGOs who is saying that this government is withholding aid to Tamil Tiger areas

Kadirgamar: I am sorry - that does not impress me in the slightest....

18 March 2005
17 March 2005 Qualitative Assessment of Psycho-Social Issues Following the Tsunami
Final Draft of Report prepared on behalf of the Mental Health Task Force in Disaster - Dr Kate Danvers, Prof. Daya Somasundaram, Dr S. Sivayokan, Dr Sivashankar
14 March 2005 Tsunami disaster in the island of Sri Lanka - A comparison between the affected North East and South & West - Tamil Centre for Human Rights
18 February 2005

Report from the NorthEast - Arjunan Ethirveerasingam

 "We have just returned from our first day surveying Tsunami damage in Kalmunai, a small town on the Eastern Coast of Sri Lanka, and it is very hard to keep from breaking down. The mind cannot conceive of the human tragedy that occurred here on 12/26/05. The pictures on TV, the words of the commentators, the words that you read: none can ever do justice to the vastness and thoroughness of the power of the waves’ destruction both in physical and emotional terms. ...The sounds of the waves crashing at my feet seem calm and soothing but they bring terror to the children of the area. Many of the parents have told us that their children wake up screaming in terror in the middle of the night. It seems unnatural that something so beautiful and life giving could have been responsible for so much death and destruction."

14 February 2005 Tsunami Destruction in Tamil Eelam - Power Point Presentation - click here

14 February 2005 Tsunami - A visit to Sri Lanka - A humanitarian mission sponsored by the Association for Play Therapy and Operation, USA by Kate Amatruda

"I look on the map and see that Sri Lanka is a teardrop off the coast of India. I have not slept through the night since I returned from Sri Lanka five days ago. It is the eyes that haunt me; the eyes of the father whose daughter was ripped out of his arms, the eyes of the grandmother who saw her children and grandchildren swept away. A generation lost in a heartbeat. I see shock on the faces of the survivors, and am reminded yet again of how everything can change in an instant. Whether it is an earthquake, a Tsunami, a tornado, or planes hitting towers, life is so fragile. Everything can be gone in the blink of an eye; we are so little, nature and war are so big. Yet we have this illusion, at least in the West, that we are in control. So I look, and look again, compelled to try to discern how people do it. How do you go on when your village, your home, your family, is destroyed? I see the faces of those who I met in the refugee camps, and it is the eyes that capture me. And it is the eyes of the children that haunt me, and make me unable to sleep through the night. "

 

10 February 2005 Tsunami Disaster Situation Report – Sri Lanka Report Number 3 - Jointly published by Tamil Information Centre (UK), Centre for Human Rights and Development (Sri Lanka)
5 February 2005 Witnessing First Hand the Devastation of the Tsunami - Suresh Sriskandarajah, Canada

"...Before Boxing Day, I was scheduled to go on a foreign aid mission in northeastern Sri Lanka along with a group of students from all over the world. The group included 11 UW students and was set to be in Mullaitivu, one of the regions most affected by the tsunami. However, our plans were postponed at the last minute due to heavy rain experienced in the area the night before. Immediately after we learned about the tsunami, we all wanted to do as much as we could to help. A few of us were able to reach the affected regions with money and supplies shortly after the first wave hit. It was an unbearable scene to see truckloads of human bodies being carried out..."  more

4 February 2005 Planning-Protecting-Precautionary measures for Tsunami / Tidal Waves in Tamil Nation - D.V.Nathan
30 January 2005 Tsunami Statistics for NE at Sangam.org
30 January 2005

Sampavi Parimalanathan, an Australian Tamil , writes on her return from North-East Sri Lanka - Death, Destruction & Discrimination [The writer is a Student Volunteer from one of the Universities in Sydney, who originally went to Sri Lanka to help in the hospitals]

"..I have just returned from my stay in tsunami affected Northeast Sri Lanka, having been there from the day the tsunami hit.The images of the people and their suffering are still clear in my mind. Their cries for help, their wails, their mourning still ring loudly in my ear. Words cannot describe the extent of the damage the people I have seen have experienced. I have lost count of the number of orphans I have come across, the number of mothers who have watched as their infants were snatched from their fingers by the waters, and the number of husbands – the bread winners – with no family to feed...I write this from experience. I was there amidst the atrocity. I saw the discrimination. I witnessed the injustice..."

 

26 January 2005


ஆழிப்பேரலையின் 31வது நினைவு சுமந்த நாள்
நிகழ்வின் படத்தொகுப்பு

24 January 2005 Don't include LTTE in post-tsunami rebuilding effort - JVP

"Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), a major coalition partner of President Chandrika Kumaratunga's Freedom Alliance government and a self styled radical marxist party that draws on Sinhala nationalist sentiments to augment its popularity, has expressed its strong opposition to the government's bid to include the Liberation Tigers in the post-tsunami relief, reconstruction and rehabilitation process using the outpouring international aid resources.Addressing to a large number of JVP relief workers assigned to the Amparai and Battticaloa districts, JVP's leader Somawansa Amarasinghe has said in Polonnaruwa last week that the party would not accept the LTTE's participation in this effort as it would give advantage to legitimize the LTTE."

23 January 2005 Tsunami Disaster & Tamil Eelam: Some Reflections - Sara Ananthan
23 January 2005 Sinhala Columnist H.L.D.Mahindapala in the Asian Tribune on Muralitharan & the Tsunami

"...Muttiah Muralidharan, the controversial spin bowler, is now bowling against the Sri Lankan government from Prabhakaran’s end. He has declared publicly that the Sri Lankan government has not provided aid to the LTTE-controlled areas .. (and) said that Prabhakaran is the only Tamil leader who had given dignity to the Tamils... Murali, like all other Tamils, climbed on the back of the Sinhalese and now he is kicking the ladder on which he climbed after he reached the top..." more

 

22 January 2004 Equitable aid distribution, focus of Pirapaharan, Norway meet

Leaders of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) today requested the Norwegian government delegation led by its Foreign Minister Mr.Jan Petersen to ensure that the northeast region received equitable proportion of the international aid Sri Lanka is expected to receive in the aftermath of tsunami disaster. In the NorthEast region about seventy five thousand families have been affected and around 25,000 have lost their lives, the Norwegian delegation was told.

18 January 2005

Despite Rebel Ties, Tamil Aid Group Earns High Marks - Colin Freeze, The Globe and Mail, Toronto

"...Naren Narendran laughs the bitterest laugh imaginable when he is asked how the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization learned how to help displaced people. "We were adequately trained," the 49-year-old director of the TRO's disaster-management unit says in a deadpan manner. He, too, is a refugee, having fled angry mobs as Sri Lanka's long-simmering cauldron of ethnic tensions erupted 20 years ago.Mr. Narendran ran all the way to Australia, where he became a financial manager. But now he is back in Sri Lanka, working out the complicated logistics of disaster relief. Trucks have to be loaded, communications lines have to be set up and battle plans have to be drawn. He is here to impose order on all the chaos, as well as to give something back to an organization that he says has stuck with the Tamils through two decades of civil war. Many others swear by the organization -- from the expatriates who gathered in Toronto banquet halls in recent weeks to raise money for tsunami aid, to the professionals who have returned to Sri Lanka to work for the charity, to the thousands of displaced Tamils who depend on the TRO for aid..."

17 January 2005

Pirapaharan meets with disaster management planners

"Although our people have suffered through severe hardships, we are shocked by the scale of destruction and loss of lives tsunami has inflicted on our community within a short period of time. Our people were displaced several times and suffered losses to their property by the actions of the Sri Lanka Army during the past several years. While this period where the destruction to the Tamil homeland was inflicted silently without the knowledge of the international community can be called tsunami-one, December 26th disaster, tsunami-two, has brought additional destruction...At the same time I urge the expatriate community to do everything necessary to help the people affected by the disaster. We should not wait for aid and relief from the international agencies but start immediately to bring hope and confidence to our affected people.We should not allow our people to become a community that is dependent on international aid." more

16 January 2005 Sinhala owned Sri Lanka Sunday Times on Kofi Annan's Failure to Visit Tamil Areas - An Agenda within an Agenda

"..The Colombo Government had reason to believe - amidst the swirling rumours of the LTTE supremo's purported death in the tsunami - that he was to make a grand appearance to shake Dr. Annan's hand if he did eventually set foot on LTTE-held territory.....what if Dr. Annan had met with him? The track record of the UN chief in such matters is also worth scrutiny.... he has met with rebel leaders in the Western Sahara and in pre-independent East Timor where there has been some UN role like peace-keeping troops... The Italian government has already justified giving direct aid to the LTTE areas. UN agency chiefs have meanwhile made it a practice to visit the Tiger den and sup with the rebels while engaging their officers in these areas...The words of EPDP Minister Douglas Devananda quoted by our Political Editor some months ago where he reiterates that the LTTE is working towards an East Timor situation - creating a virtual State environment by gaining international recognition, including that of the UN prior to Independence, should ring in the ears of those who have been carried away by the belief that the government ought to have allowed the UN chief to visit the Tigers' lair.."

 

16 January 2005 US Deputy Defence Secretary on a review visit to Colombo

"Deputy Defence Secretary of the United States of America, Paul Wolfowitz is scheduled to arrive in Colombo Monday morning on a short review visit to meet Sri Lankan government officials and tour to tsunami-affected areas in the Southern Galle district."

 

15 January 2005 Sri Lanka first denies and then allows UN Aid Agency visit to Killinochchi

"Morris has already visited tsunami-hit areas of southern Sri Lanka
The Sri Lankan authorities deny trying to restrict a visit by the head of a UN aid agency to a town hit by last month's tsunami in a rebel-held area.
The World Food Programme earlier said the government had deemed a helicopter trip by WFP head James Morris to the town of Kilinochchi "difficult". The government now says it will allow the visit to go ahead.."

14 January 2005 Tsunami Disaster Situation Report – Sri Lanka Report Number 2 - Jointly published by Tamil Information Centre (UK), Centre for Human Rights and Development (Sri Lanka)
 
13 January 2005

World Bank, ADB officials meet Thamilchelvan

"..Worldbank Country Director, Peter Harold, in a meeting with Head of LTTE Political Wing, S.P.Thamilchelvan, in Kilinochchi, expressed his condolences to people over the loss of their loved ones and added, "the institutions we represent, would continue extending solidarity in the reconstruction efforts,” said the LTTE's peace secretariat website. Associated with Mr Harold in the meeting was Alessandro Pio, Country Director, Asian Development Bank (ADB), Brian Smith, Post Conflict Specialist, ADB, Jeremy Carter, Sr. Resident Representative IMF, Tomoyuki Kimura, Director, Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Ueshima Takumi, Resident Representative, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Mitsuo Kawaguchi Counsellor, Embassy of Japan and Mr. Naresha Duraiswamy of the World Bank."

13 January 2005 U.S. Marines head for eastern Sri Lankan shores, close to areas with Tamil rebel influence
"The USS Duluth, an amphibious assault ship, was bound for eastern Sri Lankan shores Thursday to carry out relief work that will bring it close to areas controlled by Tamil Tiger rebels. The ship with 400 Marines and 400 Navy personnel set sail two days after it anchored off this southern town. It will drop relief supplies in Ampara, one of the worst hit by the disaster. In eastern Sri Lanka, Tamils and Muslims are the major communities and the Tamil Tiger rebels have considerable influence. The area was the scene of a major clash between the mainstream rebel group and a breakaway faction in March and April last year. The breakaway faction was defeated. "

 

12 January 2005 “We perceive all international assistance as purely humanitarian” -Tamilselvan

“Relief assistance volunteered by all countries including the United States of America, is perceived by us as purely humanitarian and we hold no reservations as to which country assists and what type of assistance it is” said Mr.S.P.Tamilselvan, Head of the LTTE political wing, when asked by a foreign journalist to comment on American marines involving in relief work.

12 January 2005 Indian Navy renders Sri Lankan harbours usable

Indian Navy's hydrographic survey teams and clearing crews are enabling Sri Lanka to operationalise harbours, which were hit by the tsunami on December 26.

12 January 2005 Military intimidation of relief workers escalate in Amparai, Batticaloa - TRO

The Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) in an urgent press statement issued on Wednesday morning said that the intimidation of relief workers by the Sri Lankan Special Task Force (STF) has been escalating in several welfare centres in Batticaloa and Amparai. "The positive relief efforts coordinated by the TRO after the recent devastation are being severely disrupted due to recent STF intervention in the East" said the press release. The organisation said it is in the process of documenting incident reports as they continue to arise and sought clarification from the Government of Sri Lanka the "exact nature of instructions issued to the special task force".

 

12 January 2005 An appeal by a Student Volunteer from USA -  Vithya Balasubramaniam

"Three weeks ago, I had planned to visit Sri Lanka with 52 other students from all over the world to do some service work in the war torn areas. And for the first few days of my trip, I actually managed to visit a few orphanages and spend some time with the children and those who have become disabled due to the war. But on December 26, my optimism on the country's restoration from war all changed in a second...The people of the Tamil administered areas in Sri Lanka have suffered for 20 years in war, being displaced out of their homes, being injured, and losing loved ones. The cease fire, which has been the past 3 years, has finally put a light at the end of the tunnel allowing them to finally start rebuilding their lives. And in a few minutes, it was all taken away from them again...If you wish to contribute to the relief, please do so through Tamil Rehabilitation Organization  http://www.trousa.org/  or International Medical Health Organization http://imhousa.org . And please do not think that you may not have enough. Anything is worth something. It only costs 10 cents to buy a bar of soap and less than a dollar for satisfying meal. "

12 January 2005 Sri Lanka: ADB, JBIC, World Bank to Visit Tsunami Affected North

"The country directors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), World Bank and senior officers of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), will visit the North East on 13 January as a part of the ongoing coordinated needs assessment for rebuilding the tsunami affected parts of Sri Lanka.The team of officers will meet Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam’s political chief, S.P. Thamilselvan and will visit the much affected Mullaitivu to assess first hand the damage to the area."

12 January 2005 R.Cholan Writes to President Kumaratunga

"I got all choked up when I heard of your announcement to adopt a ‘Tamil’ child orphaned by the tsunami. What a wonderful gesture it is, for the ‘ethnic’ Sinhalese president of the country to adopt an ‘ethnic’ Tamil child, at a time when the country is torn apart precisely by this ‘ethnic’ difference. Your secretary’s statement that it is a ‘personal decision’ and not a ‘political’ one, adds to the nobility of your decision... I would like to, however, ask that you to follow Mahatma Gandhi’s advice in a similar situation. Gandhi was fasting to protest the Hindu-Muslim riots, where the Hindus and Muslims were killing each other. A remorseful Hindu, who had killed an innocent Muslim to avenge the killing of his son by a Muslim mob, approached Gandhi to beg for clemency. The Mahatma said to him: “Go adopt a child… Be sure it’s a Muslim child… Only, raise him as a Muslim…” Please adopt a Tamil child, Ms. Kumaratunga, but be sure to raise that child as a Tamil." more

 

12 January 2005 Vultures seen in the sky says Richard Markandu

"There are vultures seen waiting for the prey. This include ministers, and popular Sinhalese political figures in the cabinet. Their eyes seem to be focused on medical supplies, clothing and food items that belong to Tsunami victims. The international community should not be surprised if the huge sum of relief funds that have been allocated to Tsumani victims go into the tills created by these men and women..."

12 January 2005 IBC Real Play Radio on Kofi Annan's Failure and LTTE's Relief Work - Thinnai - Current Political View - participants Analyst Jothilingam, Nanthan திண்ணை - சமகால அரசியல் பார்வை - பங்கேற்பவர்கள் ஆய்வாளர் ஜோதிலிங்கம் நந்தன்
11 January 2005 Fragile State: In Sri Lanka, Aid To Tamils Deepens Political Tensions;
Officials Worry Expats' Efforts May Spark Rebels' Resolve  say James Hookway and Jay Solomon in Wall Street Journal

"Ethnic Tamils from around the world are mobilizing to respond to Sri Lanka's humanitarian crisis. Yet the speed and success with which the Tamil diaspora has acted also presents an unusual political risk for the country..."

 

11 January 2005 R Shanmugananthan on the Callousness of the Chandrika Government

"While Tamils are grappling with the enormous rehabilitation work from the tsunami, the government is trying hard to obstruct any relief work in Tamil areas. In government-controlled Tamil areas Sinhalese soldiers are hindering the relief efforts being carried out by TRO. They are grabbing the emergency relief supplies and diverting them. In Trincomalee, according to reports from that area, they are diverting TRO emergency supplies to unaffected Singhalese areas. In other Tamil areas they are grabbing the relief supplies from TRO and distributing the supplies themselves. Seeing government soldiers in the rehabilitation camps is causing panic. Seeing a Sinhalese soldier in their camp is the last thing a traumatised Tamil person needs..." more

11 January 2005 Engaging Rebels in Reconstruction Efforts - Zachariah Cherian Mampilly University of California, Los Angeles

"The Tamil areas of Sri Lanka and the Aceh province of Indonesia, both sites of violent separatist movements, were also two of the most affected areas. Casualty and damage figures for these areas are slowly trickling out, but their status as rebel held territories limits the speed with which information about each emerges and, more dangerously, the potential for timely reconstruction efforts. Surprisingly, it is not the lack of authority in these areas, but long standing norms about the role of recognized governments that is the greatest hindrance to rebuilding..." more

10 January 2005 Tsunami & Sri Lanka: Emerging Realities Brian Senewiratne

"..Even in the face of a national disaster, ethnic and political considerations are never too far away in Sri Lankan thinking, in particular in the minds of the Sinhalese politicians of all parties. The best example of this is a recent statement by President Chandrika Kumaratunga that the Tamil Tigers had lost too many cadres in the tsunami disaster to resume the armed struggle. This is an outrageous comment from a national leader whose country has been decimated. Faced with a national crisis from an unavoidable natural disaster, all that the President could do was to focus on what ‘benefit’ it could be towards settling her political problems...

In a disaster such as this, there is rarely any difficulty in raising money or goods. Such is the generosity of ordinary people across the world. The problem is its delivery to the affected people. If this is left in the hands of the Government, Sri Lankan or any other, it will not go where it is most needed. The entire effort of raising the aid will then be nothing but a betrayal of the trust of people who have given so generously to alleviate the suffering of the less fortunate. The damage done is many layered and unless at least some of these are addressed the aid may well be wasted. There are people in positions of power who have an agenda and a hidden agenda and it is our business to identify and address these. This is a lot harder than colleting aid but infinitely more useful. "

 

10 January 2005 Kumaratunga appoints EPDP to Tsunami District Task Force established in Jaffna, Batticaloa, Trincomalee and Amparai districts

"Representatives of the Eelam Peoples Democratic Party (EPDP) have been appointed to the District Task Force (DTF) established in Jaffna, Batticaloa, Trincomalee and Amparai districts to coordinate relief and rehabilitation of tsunami victims who are sheltered in welfare centers, on a directive from Sri Lanka’s President, Ms.Chandrika Kumaratunga....

Mr.R.Sampanthan, Trincomalee district parliamentarian and TNA parliamentary group leader, and Mr.Elilan, the LTTE’s Trincomalee district political head, ... argued that the EPDP has no right to be in the tsunami DTF, saying that the EPDP has no parliamentary representation in the Trincomalee district. Mr. Elilan stressed that the LTTE is in the DTF because it has now been engaged in political activities according to the ceasefire agreement entered into between the LTTE and Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL).

 

9 January 2005 Sinhala Attempt to Intimidate Tamil Post Master in London

"Last Tuesday (04/01/21005) a person visited the post office in London where I am the postmaster. It is a post office with a grocery shop. There is a collection box in the shop and a White Pigeon poster in the post office window for Tsunami victims of Tamil Eelam. The person asked if I am the owner of the post office and he asked me for a copy of the White Pigeon notice and he wanted to have a discussion about that poster. I gave him a copy of the poster. He asked who gave me this poster and told me it is illegal to collect money for the LTTE because it is a banned organisation in the UK. I told him that White Pigeon is a registered charity organisation in the UK and we have a charity number on the poster...I asked him who he was. He said that he is a journalist for the Island and his name is Dushy Ranatunge and to tell the LTTE because they know me. I told them they don’t care about fools like you and he went away..."

 

9 January 2004 Executive Director, TRO meets UN Secretary General and submits letter detailing TRO's lead in the NorthEast in providing Tsunami relief

9 January 2005 Kofi Annan hails LTTE-led relief efforts

"UN Secretary General, Mr. Kofi Annan, hailed the relief efforts led by the Liberation Tigers in the wake of the Asian tsunami of December 26th and expressed his disappointment over the Sri Lankan governments veto of his plans to visit LTTE held areas devastated by the waves, when he met Tamil parliamentarians Sunday. "I commend the LTTE and the TRO for the very good work they have been doing", he told the MPs."

8 January 2005 Colombo blocks Kofi Annan from touring LTTE held areas - UN officials

"..Sri Lanka's government has stopped visiting U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan from touring tsunami-ravaged areas controlled by the LTTE, despite his requests a Reuters report filed from Hambantota said. Annan was quoted as saying: "I am here on a humanitarian mission. I would like to visit all the areas, but as you know I am here as a guest of the government and they set the itinerary". UN officials told Reuters that they had been striving to convince the government, but to no avail. "It is a relief visit, not a political one. The secretary general wanted to go, but it just didn't happen," said one official on condition of anonymity to Reuters. .."

[see also: Reuters Report: Sri Lanka Stops Annan from seeing tsunami-hit rebels and Tsunami ravaged community in northeast pleads for Kofi Anan to visit. and Expatriate Tamils urge Kofi Annan to visit Mullaitivu..]

8 January 2005

Aid efforts in Sri Lanka hampered by obstruction from Sri Lanka's airforce -  Caroline Gammell in Colombo in Scotsman

"The Sri Lankan airforce has confiscated two planes donated by the Italian government which can land on sea or ground and were brought in to deliver aid to the most remote areas. Each aircraft can carry six tonnes and were welcomed by relief workers last week. But now they are being held by the air force and are lying idle at the domestic airport in Ratmallan, Colombo.... “They say they want to check that the aid is not going to any Tamil organisation. The stuff (to be loaded on to the planes) was actually from the UN, it was completely legitimate and this is the air force’s way of keeping control.”

 

8 January 2005 LTTE condemns Sri Lanka State Media Reports

"...Referring to a news item broadcasted by the Government owned Sri Lankan Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) Saturday morning, quoting Vice Admiral Daya Sandagiri as the source person, that the leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and the Intelligence Chief of the organisation are among the dead or reported missing consequent to the Tsunami tidal wave attack, the LTTE in a press release said that it "strongly protested against the mischievous act of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation, stooping down to such low level of broadcasting news that are fabricated by interested parties... The government has a moral responsibility to ensure that its media exercise extra caution in broadcasting news material that tend to create tension and confusion, especially at a time the people are in distress consequent to the natural disaster..."

  Navalady - A village turned graveyard


"..What used to be Navalady village is today an earthen stage containing the corpses of the villagers the sea claimed on Boxing Day as it swept into the land. And the villagers who remain struggle to cope with the shock, distress and pain of the effects of that day. They speak of one fisherman, Ravi, who saved at least a hundred people. And they remember the families they lost in minutes..."

7 January 2005 Resources are stretched, and the Tigers want to resettle families in tents as soon as possible.

""We cannot continue to provide them with all this help all the time. They will have to go," said A. Sivagnanasutharam, a project officer with the Tigers' humanitarian aid wing the Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation, who is overseeing one camp."We'll provide them with rations, but they'll have to cook on their own without having camps like this," he added.Behind him, some of the displaced helped spray disinfectant around the camp and inside tents made from welded metal poles and plastic sheeting to ward off disease. Others cooked lentils and rice in giant black vats, while most squatted in shade under trees, despondent and downcast.The Tigers are giving affected families 1,000 rupees ($10) each in pocket money to tide them over."

6 January 2005 TRO - Tsunami Disaster Management Unit - Stituation Report
6 January 2004 "Tamils will resist Sri Lanka Army takeover of Welfare Centers" says Colonel Soosai, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
6 January 2005 Tsunami victims flee as Sri Lanka Army moves into Trinco welfare centres

"Hundreds of Tsunami victims fled from welfare centres in the Sri Lanka government controlled areas in the Trincomalee district when Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers carrying weapons entered the welfare centres to take over the management Thursday on a directive by Sri Lanka's President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge, several volunteers said.  Mr.S.Elilan, Trincomalee district political head of the LTTE Thursday evening lodged a complaint with the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) in the east port town that the army taking over welfare centres sheltering Tsunami victims is a violation of the ceasefire agreement which is in force since February 2002. He also brought to the notice of the SLMM that the SLA soldiers are not adhering to the decision arrived at a discussion held in the SLMM office Thursday morning, sources said."

5 January 2005 Sri Lanka Armed Forces take over refugee camps and harass TRO

"..In a sudden move, the Sri Lankan Armed Forces are manning the refugee camps in Amparai, Batticaloa and Trincomalee since Tuesday. The Special Task Force (STF) in Thirukovil, Amparai have hijacked two tractors of TRO relief supplies and distributed them after removing the TRO labels. "The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and Special Task Force (STF) have stepped up their harassment of workers of the Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO)", Mr.K.P.Reggie, Executive Director of the TRO, told TamilNet .While goods sent to the East continue to be stopped at checkpoints and delayed, TRO workers are also being harassed in Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Amparai.."

5 January 2005 Shared in Sri Lanka - Boston Globe Editorial

"...A relief organization that cooperates with the Tigers, the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization, or TRO, has been assisting not only Tamil Hindus in the northeast but also Buddhist Sinhalese and Muslim families. The central government, however, wants nothing to do with the Tiger-linked TRO. In one community in northeastern Jaffna Peninsula, Tamil peasants refused food aid from a contingent of Sri Lankan Army soldiers, whom the locals had come to fear. According to the peasants, the soldiers later returned with their faces covered, entered a shed where local Tamil volunteers had stored food parcels, and burned it down. After visiting a Tamil town in the northeast that was destroyed by the tidal wave, Carol Bellamy, executive director of UNICEF, said Monday that the TRO's "well-coordinated relief arrangements put in place within so short a time are all really commendable.""

5 January 2005 Divided Nation - Sri Lanka rebels take up aid effort  Jehangir S. Pocha, Boston Globe

"..Members of the Tamil Tigers, separatist rebels who control large swaths of Sri Lanka's north and east, are appealing to international organizations to bypass the central government and send aid directly to the tsunami-devastated regions within their territories, saying they have received little help in the 10 days since the disaster... Some international aid workers have said they were surprised by the speed and efficiency with which the Tigers organized relief efforts after the tsunami hit on Dec. 26. While some Sri Lankan authorities appeared to be overcome by a shock-induced inertia for days, the Tigers organized search and rescue operations in the first hours of the disaster, according to refugees.The Tigers also set up a multi-agency task force of Tiger officials, representatives of the international organizations present in the area, local nonprofit groups, and even some Sri Lankan government officials. This facilitated the quick disposal of bodies, clearing affected areas and setting up more than 35 refugee camps..."

4 January 2005 LTTE's urgent appeal to the media

"This is an urgent appeal to the National and International Media in the context of the post-Tsunami disaster situation in the North-East and the humanitarian delivery to the displaced. We observe inaccuracies in reports that tend to mislead the people on matters that are purely humanitarian. Any bias and inaccuracy in reporting tend to irreparably damage the collective efforts that are underway in humanitarian delivery and hence this appeal to exercise caution and responsibility that the situation demands.

Reports such as “Tiger rebels torch welfare centre in the north” “Aid from the south is prevented by the LTTE”, “Russian doctors denied access to LTTE areas” etc are unfortunate. Verification from appropriate sources, for instance, the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) or the relevant party would have clarified matters relating to the truth or otherwise, rather than depending on sources that have ulterior motives."

4 January 2005 Tamil Tiger Guerrillas Directing Relief Effort - In Ruined Town, Rebels Outperform Officials - John Lancaster in Washington Post

""All the activity that's been going on here has been guided or sponsored by the Tigers"... "The central government hasn't given anything, really." The Tigers have also been taking the lead in sheltering refugees, establishing an emergency task force along with representatives of international aid organizations and the central government, which maintains a low-key administrative presence in the area." more

4 January 2005 Planning and Development Secretariat  gears for phase two & three of tsunami relief in Northeast

"The LTTE with its quick deployment ability and the Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) with generous assistance from the Tamil Diaspora and the international NGOs, are tackling the immediate Tsunami relief needs, the first phase of the relief efforts. The Liberation Tigers are calling for international assistance to meet phase two and three of the relief effort", LTTE's Political Head Mr. S. P. Thamilchelvan told TamilNet following a conference with Norwegian Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Mr Hans Brattskar, in Killinochchi where they discussed the proper channeling of aid to northeast for phase two and three of Tsunami relief as being planned by Planning & Development Secretariat..."

4 January 2005 LTTE Planning and Development Secretariat sends Australian and Korean doctors to the East

4 January 2005 Project to resurrect Mullaitivu fishing industry planned

"The Economic Consultancy House (TECH), a Non Governmental Organization that promotes socio-economic and technological development, and registered with the Government of Srilanka, has issued a project plan costing nearly Rs2 billion, to assist the more than 5700 fishing families in Mullaitivu district affected by the tsunami disaster to return to their traditional trade.. TECH expects to provide Rs 340,000 worth of assistance to each family to buy fishing nets (Rs 100,000), an outboard motor (Rs 150,000), fishing boat (Rs 80,000) and miscellaneous expenses of Rs 10,000. .. 22 villlages affected in Mullaitivu coastal areas are to be grouped into three zones, Chundikulam, Vadduvahal-Nayaru and Nayaru-Thiriyai and each of these three centers will receive a salt-grinding mill, ice manufacturing plant and a boat repairing facility as part of subsequent phases of the project. TECH is soliciting funding from donor agencies and tamil expatriates for immediate implementation of the project."

3 January 2005 LTTE's Efficient Military Machine Started Aid within Minutes reports Arthur Max, Associated Press

"...Veterans of a long guerrilla war, the Tamil rebels who control northern Sri Lanka moved with military precision to help victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami. The speed and efficiency of the massive humanitarian operation showed an administrative capability that underscored the rebels' demand for Tamil independence from the Sinhalese-dominated southern part of Sri Lanka. Within minutes of the disaster, soldiers of the Liberation Tigers for Tamil-Eelam, or LTTE, were evacuating survivors and pulling bodies from the still-roiling water, said villagers and aid workers. In a well-practiced drill, squads set up roadblocks to control panic and prevent looting. Others requisitioned civilian vehicles to move the injured to hospitals. Many donated blood. Teams with digital cameras and laptops moved into disaster zones to photograph the faces of the dead for later identification, then swiftly cremated or buried the corpses... Meanwhile, in the south, the government was struggling to cope while politicians argued over who was in charge. From the field came isolated reports of corruption and hijacking of relief trucks."

3 January 2005 “Timely rescue and well coordinated relief arrangements are really commendable” says -UNICEF Executive Director after a visit to LTTE controlled Mullaittivu

“Resilience of the people, timely mobilisation of the organisation’s human resources for the rescue and medical operations that has saved valuable lives from death and the well coordinated relief arrangements put in place within so short a time are all really commendable” said Ms. Carol Bellamy Executive Director of UNICEF after a visit to Mullaittivu. more

2 January 2005 Tsunami Disaster Situation Report – Sri Lanka , Report Number 1 Jointly published by Tamil Information Centre (UK) and Centre for Human Rights and Development (Sri Lanka)
2 January 2005 Long wait for help in east Sri Lanka
1 January 2005
Summary of impact in NorthEast released by the LTTE Peace Secretariat as at 09:00 am 1st January 2005
 
District Dead Injured Missing Displaced Welfare Centres
Families Individuals
Amparai 11225 2800 5300 44000 186405 126
Batticaloa 2040 2100 6000 52117 212456 94
Jaffna & Vadamaradchi East 778 1218 2000 16174 48729 32
Mullaitivu 1666 1386 2750 5800 25210 19
Trincomalee 947 2238 2431 37821 130684 87
Total 16656 9742 18481 155912 603484 358
line
1 January 2005 1500 U.S Marines to arrive in Sri Lanka [see also Conflict Resolution: Tamil Eelam - Sri Lanka : Tracking the Norwegian Conflict Resolution Initiative]

"U.S Ambassador to Sri Lanka , Jeffrey Lunstead, U.S Commander of U.S Disaster Response Assessment Team (DRAT), Colonel Thomas Collins, and a USAID representative said in a press conference held at Hotel Galladhari in Colombo Saturday afternoon that 1300 U.S Marines are to arrive in Colombo in a U.S Essex class aircraft carrier, USS Bon Homme Richard, equipped with a helipad and supporting five helicopters on board. The Aircraft Carrier, USS Bon Homme Richard, which is to support full fledged U.S rescue operations in Galle, Amparai, Trincomalee and Jaffna coasts is also equipped with five small scale hovercrafts, the officials said in the press conference. The hovercrafts will engage in point to point rescue operations along the coasts, the officials added.A C-130 cargo carrier aircraft will also be supporting the rescue effort, the Ambassasdor said during the press conference.200 US Marines are expected to arrive on Sunday afternoon or Monday morning to setup the required Command and Control system for the rescue operations."

1 January 2005 Sinhala Columnist Dayan Jayatilleke in the Asian Tribune on the Impact of the Tsunami

 "... Who will better harness the power of that quake (the tsunami) - the Sri Lankan state, to build a united country, or the Tigers, to accelerate separation?... If relief and reconstruction are done right, we can, with the international community, restructure while we construct...We now have the world’s unprecedented attention, solidarity, sympathy and support. Conceived in pain and tragedy, this moment is unique, historic and precious..." more

[see also A Response to Dayan Jayatilleke by M.Thanapalasingham - பேய் அரசு செய்தால் பிணம் தின்னும் சாத்திரங்கள்]

31 December 2004 Tamil Tigers grapple with disaster

"..Little information has emerged from parts of Sri Lanka controlled by the rebel Tamil Tigers following Sunday's tsunami. The BBC gained access to the village of Mullaitivu in the north-east of the island. Tamil Tiger rebels here say that more than 3,000 people died in Mullaitivu - that is out of a population of more than 5,000. Buildings on the beach were completely flattened by the waves. There is almost nothing left standing..."

31 December 2004

Sampavi Parimalanathan, an Australian Tamil writes from North-East Sri Lanka [The writer is a Student Volunteer from one of the Universities in Sydney, who originally went to Sri Lanka to help in the hospitals]

"I am writing to you from North-East Sri Lanka, one of the areas hit by the massive tsunami on December 26th. I initially came here to do voluntary work at hospitals, however, since the natural disaster, I have been roaming the streets, talking to survivors and helping with some aid work. All I see is absolute devastation. Local schools overflow with displaced people. Mourners cry in huddled groups. There are families where only 3 out of 20 people have survived. So far I have met 105 families where a loss of more than 10 people per family has occurred. Stories of the water grabbing babies from their mothers' grip, stories of small children being trapped underneath collapsing buildings, stories of entire orphanages being engulfed by the sea still swirl in my head... It has been five days since the tsunami, and I am yet to see any Sri Lankan Government personnel arrive to assess the situation at any of the areas in the North East province that I have been to. Yet, branded as 'terrorists' by many nations, the LTTE are risking their own lives, searching the seas for bodies whilst warning calls go out for another tsunami..."

31 December 2004

Tamils fighting for fair share of disaster aid - Toronto Star

Top local officials of the Tamils Rehabilitation Organization — the aid wing of the rebel Tamil Tigers — offered detailed allegations yesterday of army interference and sabotage in this isolated eastern enclave.

"The army confiscates these things and brings them to Buddhist temples, or brings them to welfare (refugee) centres without co-ordinating with us," said Kirupa Sivam, TRO co-ordinator for Batticaloa city. "This is not only a natural disaster but a man-made disaster."

Despite desperate living conditions and shortages of basic necessities since the Asian tsunami that killed as many as 30,000 people in Sri Lanka — about half of them here in the northeast — the government is not distributing any aid at all to these Tamil-dominated areas, he added. "The government has not issued anything, not even one rupee of food, even until now," Sivam asserted. "Everything we're giving out is from our own local fundraising and collections."

30 December 2004 Cut red tape to deliver urgent aid - LTTE

"Though the human disaster caused by the tidal wave in the coastal belt of this island and other parts of the South East Asian region, has a commonality in the destruction and misery it left behind, the impact in the North-East coast of Sri Lanka is manifold and more complex in view of the earlier devastations this region has been subject to during the last two decades of a war” said Mr.S.P.Tamilselvan, Head of the LTTE Political wing in his opening address during the post disaster review confab held at the Planning and Development Secretariat (PDS) held today 30 December 2004. The confab was organized as a follow-up of the formulation of a Steering Committee and Special Task Forces to effectively carry out rescue and relief operations in a post disaster situation. Country Heads of UN Agencies and INGO’s, Donor community and representatives from the North-East Provincial council, Academics from the university community and the Tamil diaspora participated in the confab.

30 December 2004 TCHR- North East death toll rises to 21,575, Still no International relief or assistance received
30 December 2004 TRO Provides Relief To Tsunami Victims: Urgent Need for Nurses

"TRO has allocated 12 million rupees for the immediate relief provision to the region and deployed more than three hundred volunteers to provide assistance to the victims. Tsunami has taken its death toll with TRO too; they lost seven of its 84 volunteers in Trincomalee district. They were deployed for relief work during flood in the Eachchilampathu division.“TRO has dispatched 18 trucks with relief materials from Colombo to North East since the devastation struck the island,” said on Wednesday Mr. C. Pararajasingham who works for the TRO Colombo office. 

29 December 2004 Liberation Tigers send relief, medicine, doctors to Amparai

"...The Liberation Tigers sent six lorries from Kilinochchi with emergency supplies and a lorry load of medicine along with fifty doctors for relief operations on the Tsunami devastated Amparai coast. The death toll in the coastal areas of the Amparai district rose steeply Wednesday as rescue workers retrieved more putrefying bodies from villages destroyed by the Tsunami. “Three of our teams are working round the clock in rescue and relief operations here”, said Mr. Ram, a Liberation Tigers commander speaking to TamilNet from a coastal village in Amparai Wednesday.."

29 December 2004 Message on Tsunami Disaster - Velupillai Pirabaharan, Leader of Tamil Eelam

"My beloved and respected Tamil people, Our homeland has faced an unprecedented major disaster and is submerged in deep sorrow today. .. In the island of Sri Lanka, the sea belt coast from Jaffna to Galle and especially our homeland territories became targets of Nature’s fury resulting in massive destruction of life and property. The devastation caused by this tidal surge has exacerbated the sufferings of our people already affected by a war that continued for over twenty years and has torn asunder our nation. I convey my feeling of attachment, consolation and deepest condolences to our people who have lost their beloved and dearest, and undergoing unbearable sorrow and pain."

29 December 2004 Latest Tsunami toll: 18,000 dead, 10,000 missing, 500,000 displaced

"..Political and racial undercurrents began to surface as Sri Lanka's Prime Minister "spoke against direct relief aid to Tamil rebels," according to an Associated Press report, even as the Liberation Tigers accused the Sri Lanka Government of not sending aid to affected areas in the NorthEast.

"...an official of an international aid agency reported Wednesday that Sinhalese mobs were blocking relief trucks from reaching the frontier, diverting the supplies to their own hard-hit communities. At least four trucks were stopped by a low-ranking government official from crossing into the Tamil zone, said the official on condition of anonymity," said the AP report datelined December 29 3:13pm..."

29 December 2004 Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation Media Release, Press Conference at Swiss TRO Headquarters, Geneva

"Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation which is a registered humanitarian organization in Sri Lanka and a member of the consortium of humanitarian organisations has grave concerns that our ability to respond in a timely manner is being hindered by excessive administrative, bureaucratic and control requirements imposed.  We are going through a critical phase of the relief efforts to address the impact of the unparalleled calamity caused by Tsumani. Urgent response is of paramount importance to arrest further deterioration of this tragic situation. This is particularly so because relief channelled through the Government of Sri Lanka has not reached the people of the northeast of the Island...

TRO has been in operation for over 19 years,  and currently partners with multilateral and UN Agencies and several international NGOs in major rehabilitation and reconstruction projects and programmes in the North-East of Sri Lanka. TRO has district offices and sub-offices in each of the eight districts in the North-East of Sri Lanka and employs over 3500 paid staff. 

TRO has a well trained de-mining staff that have undergone extensive training including training provided by UN Agencies and are in full readiness to address dangers caused by mines. Delays of relief reaching some districts in the North-East are being attributed in some quarters to problems regarding mines. TRO considers that dangers caused by free floating mines are  far less significant when compared to the dangers of death by starvation and disease. Our staff and volunteers live in this environment and have always been exposed to these risks and have the acquired the expertise and capability to address these concerns. "more

29 December 2004 TRO, USA Press Release Contact:M. Sritharan
Secretary, Tamil Rehabilitation Organization
517 Old Town Road, Cumberland MD 21502, USA
sree@webpci.com (301) 320 6344 - http://www.trousa.org

"Tamil Rehabilitation Organization, USA is working with local organizations in Sri Lanka including the Sri Lankan charity TRO to provide urgent relief work. Hundreds of temporary shelters have been set up by TRO and urgent medical supplies are being dispatched. Team of volunteer doctors is arriving in NorthEast within next few days. As much of the immediate medical and other relief supplies are available in local market, monetary donations are most useful in the short term."

29 December 2004 Helping Hands in Sri Lanka – But When in the NorthEast? - Alex Doss

"Several donor countries like the United States, Germany, Japan, and Australia have pledged aid to the countries effected by this destructive tsunami. However, in Sri Lanka, where exactly are these funds going to? Why hasn’t any funds reached the NorthEast as of yet? LTTE political wing leader SP Tamilchelvan told BBC Tamilosai that, “international aid is going mainly to the affected regions in the south.” As of now he is still waiting for a response from the government of Colombo in regards to the issue.

Reading each day from “fair and balanced” news sites such as CNN and Fox, I have discovered that the stories on the situation are mostly revolving around the South and not a single story on Northeastern parts like Jaffna, Trincomolee, Batticaloa, Kilinochi, and Mulaitivu. However, the government of Sri Lanka has the edacity to include the number of people dead from the Northeast in their overall coverage of casualties on the island. This goes to show me that Colombo never has and never will do anything for the Tamils of the Northeast, leave alone during these times of crisis..."

28 December 2004 Tsunamai - Northeast death toll rises to 12200 - No relief or assistance received from government or international community - TCHR

 "...TCHR sources have so far confirmed the death toll in the North East as 12,200 and the injured as more than 11,100. The death figure is likely to increase as the rescue and recovery operations are still underway in the affected villages in the North, East.....The Colombo media, especially TV and daily newspapers in English and Singhalese have failed to give a breakdown of the casualty and fatality figures, thus in effect putting a news block on the tragic reality as experienced in the North East. They also pointed out that the international help rendered to Sri Lanka has not reached the affected people in the North East... As the government help failed to reach the North East areas, the Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation – TRO, which is presently helping the victims round the clock, is appealing for international help.Their urgent requirements to attend to the immediate phase are : Food items including milk powder, precooked for 80,000 families - 3 meals for two weeks; clothing for women and children; medicine -paracetamol, anti biotics, dressings, suture material, disposable syringes etc; water purification tablets and water containers; 25,000 temporary shelters and 50 medical tents; non food items includes kitchen utensils, a hundred thousand mats and portable generators..."more

28 December 2004 TRO lists immediate relief needs

"The following are urgent requirements to attend to the immediate phase:

Food (includes milk powder, precooked food) for 80 000 familes, 3 times/day, meals for two weeks.
Non food items (includes kitchen utensils, 100 000 mats)
Clothing (special concern for women and children)
Drugs (paracetamol, antibiotics, dressings, suture material, disposable syringes)
water purification tablets (500 000) and water containers (5 lit. capacity)
Temporary shelters (25,000 tents for a family of 4 and 50 medical tents)
portable generators (50)
The above phase of operation would be followed-up by preventive efforts to address water born diseases. TRO is taking necessary efforts to gather required human and material resources to commence this face as soon as possible."

28 December 2004 Relief Funds - Where to Contribute - Ilankai Tamil Sangam USA

"All funds sent to these organizations will be used for emergency assistance for victims of the Dec. 26 tsunami in the NorthEast of Sri Lanka. Please mark your checks 'NE Tsunami Relief.' All are staffed by volunteers so there is no overhead taken out of the donations. All organizations are 501 (c) (3) charities registered in the United States and all donations are tax-deductible...

According to reports, of all the countries affected, Sri Lanka was affected the most, of which the eastern coast (from eastern Jaffna to Matara) is the worst affected.

Unlike the areas readily accessible to western reporters (south Sri Lanka, eastern India, Thailand, Indonesia, etc.) the news from the northeast Sri Lanka is very sketchy. The resource poor TamilNet (www.tamilnet.com) and TamilNaatham (www.TamilNaatham.com) are doing their best and the news so far shows devastating damage. Over 5,000 have been reported killed, and the death toll is expected to rise. Hundreds of thousands are said to be displaced and the exact figures are unknown. The already impoverished population in the NorthEast are said to be without food, shelter and sanitation.

According to today’s New York Times, officials in Colombo are claiming ignorance of the situation in the NorthEast. The report said: "It is a huge tragedy," said Lalith Weerathunga, secretary to the Sri Lankan prime minister. "The death toll is going up all the time." He said the government did not know what was happening in areas of the northeast controlled by Tamil Tiger rebels.

This doesn’t surprise us, as the Colombo government as always treated the NorthEast in a step-motherly fashion. "

28 December 2004 Tsunamai - Northeast death toll rises to 12200 - No relief or assistance received from government or international community - TCHR

 "...TCHR sources have so far confirmed the death toll in the North East as 12,200 and the injured as more than 11,100. The death figure is likely to increase as the rescue and recovery operations are still underway in the affected villages in the North, East.....The Colombo media, especially TV and daily newspapers in English and Singhalese have failed to give a breakdown of the casualty and fatality figures, thus in effect putting a news block on the tragic reality as experienced in the North East. They also pointed out that the international help rendered to Sri Lanka has not reached the affected people in the North East...."more

 

28 December 2004 Disaster poses Huge Aid Challenge says UN

"The United Nations is mobilising what it says will be its biggest relief operation ever in response to the Asian quake disaster.. At least 10 countries have been affected, with Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India and Thailand among the worst hit. ...In Sri Lanka, about a million are now homeless..."

27 December 2004 TRO - Urgent Appeal for Humanitarian Assistance - 8000 Dead and 500,000 Displaced in northeast of the Island of Sri Lanka

 "...The present resources available to TRO are nowhere near sufficient to meet the huge crisis that has arisen and we are faced with the prospect of an ever increasing toll of the dead, outbreak of epidemics as the dead lie in open fields and waterways, shortage of food and a continued denial of basic living needs for a half a million people. Assistance channelled through the Government of Sri Lanka has failed to reach the displaced in the northeast.  It is only through the immediate, unstinted and generous support of the Tamil diaspora that we will be able to surmount the humanitarian crisis that has arisen. The Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation calls upon Tamils in each country to join with the efforts by the branch of the TRO in their country in this urgent task. Those individuals who wish to help directly may also do so on line through our website www.troonline.org..."

27 December 2004 Tamil MP slams Colombo for ignoring Northeast plight

"The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Monday slammed the Sri Lankan government and Sinhala parties in Parliament for "callously ignoring the plight of thousands in the northeast hit by Saturday's Tsunami. The devastation and destruction in the northeast was discussed for not more than five minutes during the two hour conference on the Tsunami disaster management for all Parliament parties called by the Prime Minister at his reidence Monday. In fact the situation in the Northeast was taken up only after I raised the issue. They simply not bothered about the plight of our people"

27 December 2004 Disaster Management Task Force Units setup in Northeast

"Mr.S.P.Thamilchelvan, Head of the LTTE Political Wing in an urgent meeting with the International NGOs, District Secretaries, TRO officials and local NGOs requested to set up a North-East Disaster Management Steering Committee and Special Task Force Units consisting of the District Secretaries, INGO’s, TRO,local NGO’s and representatives of the Planning and Development Secretariat of the LTTE. Similar mechanisms for the districts of Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Amparai have also been planned and details would be worked out in the respective districts soon, an LTTE news release said."

27 December 2004 Ilankai Tamil Sangam USA Media Release
27 December 2004 Canadian Tamil Congress Media Release

"...The stories of those whose lives have been shattered are already coming to light. One Priest at Nagar Kovil, in the Jaffna District, reported that 7 of his young parishioners disappeared following Sunday mass. This is just one of thousands of incidents that this community is grieving. Over the course of the past few hours, we have been deeply moved by the great deal of support given to us by fellow Canadians. The Canadian Tamil community, while grateful for the initial response by the government of Canada, calls upon our government to ensure that there is persistent and sufficient aid flowing to needy areas. In particular, the Canadian Tamil community seeks direct Canadian involvement in ascertaining that aid is directed to those in the North and East of the island, where the pre-existing infrastructure is abysmal to begin with. “We want to be part of the rebuilding effort in the North and East,” said Bala Sivalingam, spokesperson for the Canadian Tamil Congress. He further called on the government of Canada to “work with the Canadian Tamil Community in this moment of great sorrow.”

27 December 2004 More than 10000 killed in Sri Lanka

"Government sources said more than 10000 people are killed in Sri Lanka. Rescue workers believe that the death toll in the Northeast region alone could be more than 6000. The number of people swept away would be much higher than earlier anticipated in the region, rescue workers say. Massive relief efforts have been launched. Infrastructure constraints and damaged highways make the rescue work difficult. The tragedy is unprecedented in Sri Lanka. "

27 December 2004 Updated TRO Appeal in Tamil

ஈழம் வடக்குக்கிழக்கில் 6000 பொதுமக்கள் உயிரிழப்பு (27.12.2004) - 500 000 மக்கள் இடம்பெயர்வு - அவசர மனிதாபிமான உதவிகளை வழங்கிடுவீர்! - தமிழர் புனர்வாழ்வுக் கழகம், கிளிநொச்சி - "ஒவ்வொருநாடுகளிலும் உள்ள தமிழர் புனர்வாழ்வுக் கழகத்தின் கிளைநிறுவனங்கள் ஊடாக ஒருங்கிணைக்கப்பட்டு மேற்கொள்ளப்படும் இவ் அவசர பணிகளில் இணைந்து செயற்படுமாறு அனைத்து மக்களையும் புனர்வாழ்வுக்கழகம் கோரியுள்ளது."

 27 December 2004 Tidal wave kills over 6000 in North East; 2000 feared dead in the Jaffna peninsula - LTTE Peace Secretariat 

"...The entire coastal belt in the North East was hit by an unprecedented tidal surge in the morning hours yesterday 26 December 2004. Reports from the areas of disaster indicate that the worst hit, are the coastal towns and villages in Mullaittivu and Thalayadi – Chempianpattu in Vadamaradchy East, Vettilaikkerny, Kaddaikkadu, Maththalan, Kallappadu, Vannankerny, Sinntaththankadu and Alampil are among the villages that bore the worst brunt of the disaster. No precautionary measure could have saved the people and their dwellings from this disaster, for all happened within a couple of minutes.

Emergency rescue teams comprising LTTE members, Civilian Based Organisations, Local NGO’s and the TRO task force are actively engaged in recovering the bodies that are washed ashore after the ferocity of the tidal wave receded. Already 600 bodies have been recovered in Mullaittivu and brought to Mulliyawalai for identification by surviving relatives. Kilinochchi District Hospital received 120 bodies recovered from the Thalayadi coast. More than 900 injured were treated at the Kilinochchi hospital. Since the ward space is very much limited, only the most seriously injured are kept in the hospital and others are accommodated in school buildings and attended to by the LTTE Medical teams..."

 

26 December 2004 TRO Appeal, 26 December  2004

"Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO), an independent Non-Governmental Organization registered with Government of Sri Lanka, appealed to the Tamil expatriates Sunday to donate towards meeting the humanitarian crisis unfolding following the tsunami wave triggered flooding in residential areas along the eastern coast of Sri Lanka. Majority of families affected were from the NorthEast of Sri Lanka..."

26 December 2004 LTTE appeals for International Assistance

" The entire coastal belt in the North East was hit by an unprecedented tidal surge in the morning hours yesterday 26 December 2004. Reports from the areas of disaster indicate that the worst hit, are the coastal towns and villages in Mullaittivu and Thalayadi – Chempianpattu in Vadamaradchy East, Vettilaikkerny, Kaddaikkadu, Maththalan, Kallappadu, Vannankerny, Sinntaththankadu and Alampil are among the villages that bore the worst brunt of the disaster. No precautionary measure could have saved the people and their dwellings from this disaster, for all happened within a couple of minutes.

Emergency rescue teams comprising LTTE members, Civilian Based Organisations, Local NGO’s and the TRO task force are actively engaged in recovering the bodies that are washed ashore after the ferocity of the tidal wave receded. Already 600 bodies have been recovered in Mullaittivu and brought to Mulliyawalai for identification by surviving relatives. Kilinochchi District Hospital received 120 bodies recovered from the Thalayadi coast. More than 900 injured were treated at the Kilinochchi hospital. Since the ward space is very much limited, only the most seriously injured are kept in the hospital and others are accommodated in school buildings and attended to by the LTTE Medical teams..."

26 December 2004 LTTE to declare National Emergency

"...To cope with the unprecedented destruction of life and property in the coastal areas of NorthEast brought about by the tsunamic waves that hit the coastal towns Sunday, the Liberation Tigers are planning to declare National Emergency to set up procedures in motion to obtain relief assistance from International Agencies, sources close to the LTTE in Vanni said. Leader of LTTE's Political Wing, S.P.Thamilchelvan, speaking to TamilNet said: "This is the first time Tamil people in our areas have witnessed such large scale disaster. We have recovered more than 800 bodies from the coastal shores along the the NorthEast. We are just starting to enter interior of buildings to continue the relief effort . "Our cadres and volunteers from the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization and other civil groups are working round the clock to assist the wounded and to provide shelter to those whose houses have been washed away by the tidal waters..."

26 December 2004 Large Number of Children Killed

"..A large number of children were killed by Tsunami waves in Sri Lankaís northeast, rescue workers and local journalists said. Thousands of children have been wounded in the floods and are still without access to first aid, they said. Lack of transport and roads destroyed by the monster waves are slowing rescue work in Mullaithivu, Mutur, Batticaloa and Amparai, according to aid workers. Children mostly affected also in Jaffna-District.
"In some places here there aren't people to identify many bodies because whole families have been killed by the waves. In several areas we found the bodies of both parents and children killed by the waves", an aid worker in Batticaloa told TamilNet.."

 26 December 2004 Eyewitness says little could have escaped wave

“We went from the hospital to retrieve some bodies of people killed by the first wave near the Pandiruppu beach. We saw at a distance another massive wave, more than hundred feet high, speeding towards Kalmunaikudi. It was like a diagonal wall rising out of the sea. The sight was terrible. We ran for our lives. I do not believe that anything could have survived the force of that wave”, said a doctor at the Kalmunai base hospital Monday. Doctor Murugesapillai Baghavan said he believed that scale of death and destruction in the Pandiruppu, Kalmunaikudi area could be much greater than what has been assessed so far.
“The wave would have sucked homes and people back into the sea. Few could have resisted its force. We think that whole areas have been buried under sand dug up by the wave’s power”, Dr. Baghavan said.

   
  Telephone numbers in USA:

Toll free number for TRO is 866 424 0777
Main TRO number is 732 424 2005 (phone calls from toll free line will be directed to this line).
Fax number is 732 424 5678.

The following is a link to TRO brochure: TRO Brochure.

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