Sri Lanka Red Cross society - Letter to UN

Place: Vanni | Courtesy: ICRC
| Date: 19961231

Since the starting of the "Tamil Eelam War" the Normal life of the people in Tamil areas have been affected in various ways, such as Economic embargo, shortage of Medicines and the compact living. Due to the displaced situation, war wrekage and the military operations, the state adminisrative machinery had been stopped at the same time the activities of N.G.O. National and International had been brought to a stand still, which has affected the normal life of the people. The N.G.O could not go ahead due to the Sri Lankan government imposing restrictions.

To The Secretary General,
U.N.O

Honourable Sir,

RECTIFICATION OF THE VILLAGE HYGIENE AND THE ATTEMPTS MADE BY THE SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS

Since the starting of the "Tamil Eelam War" the Normal life of the people in Tamil areas have been affected in various ways, such as Economic embargo, shortage of Medicines and the compact living. Due to the displaced situation, war wrekage and the military operations, the state adminisrative machinery had been stopped at the same time the activities of N.G.O. National and International had been brought to a stand still, which has affected the normal life of the people. The N.G.O could not go ahead due to the Sri Lankan government imposing restrictions.

ENVIRONMENT POLLUTION AND UNHYGIENIC LIVING CONDITIONS

Due to the Army operations, the environmental pollution and unhygienic living conditions have been forced on the people. Shelling and the stoppage of the N.G.O activities in these areas have caused the shortage of food, problem of housing, lack of toilet facilities, non availability of pure drinking water . There is a vast breeding of mosquitos and flies.

DELIBERATE STATE SPONSORED ECONOMIC EMBARGO

Sri Lankan government imposed the restriction on the transport of essential food items on the pretext that the Tamil Eelam Liberation Movement is engaged in insurgent activities. They also stopped certain items of fertilizers as their explosives or chemicals used for arms and ammunitions. These in particular are the things which are in need for the normal basic life, such as food, health, shelter and clothing. This act of the government shows that it is a clear violation of the International Law.

DISPLACEMENT OF THE PEOPLE

Due to the military operations the people from the Trincomalee, Jaffna and Kilinochchi districts had been displaced to Vanni areas for security of their lives. This influx of people has caused shortage of food, bad sanitary conditions, lack of medical facilities, toilet facilities, shelters. The non availability of pure drinking water, breeding of mosquitos and flies caused the spreading of epidemics.

RESTRICTION OF THE GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATIVE MACHINERY

Although the government want to show the North Eastern provincial council is functioning but the civil asministration and machinery is completely paralysed. This has affected the normal life of the people on health, highways, food supply and transport.

TRANSPORT

Restriction on fuel and spare parts have affected the transport.

HIGHWAYS

The restrictions of the raw materials, building materials, spares for machines have caused a stoppage of activities of Highways Department. The tar roads which have been filled by gravel, the rain water stagnatesand the highways are full of potholes. During the dry season, the dust that comes out from the highways causes diseases connected with lungs.

ACTIVITIES OF THE FOOD DEPARTMENT

Due to the Economic embargo, the government stressed the permit system for the transport of relief food items. It imposed a strict restriction on these items too. During the rainy season, we undergo immense difficulties in transporting these items at Thandikulum, the check point from Vavuniya to Vanni area.

During the rainy season, unloading and reloading of food items at Thandikulum point causes great hardships and invariably food items get damaged. Handling of goods by labourers under unhygenic conditions makes the food items unfit for human consumption.

HEALTH DEPARTMENT

As the District Hospital of Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu are not functioning, the Rural Hospital in Malavi and Puthukudiyiruppu and two central dispensaries are functioning. Here too, the following facilities are not available:

1. Buidling facilities
2. Laboratory and Operation equipments
3. Facility for delicate operations
4. Electricity
5 Beddings and Water facilities.

Ever since 1990, the following facilities have not been provided:

l. Vacancies of doctors and other employees were not fllled.
2. Only 25% of the requirement of medecines were permitted.
3. Ban on transport of disinfectant such as 'Chlorine' and 'Malatheone'.
4. Ban on the transport of lavatory accessories.
5 The activities of the anti-malarial campaign have been brought to a standstill in the most malarial infected areas such as Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu district.
6. Ban on medicine for snake-bite and anti-rabies
7. Limitation on the services of doctors and nurses.
8. The restrictions on the use of Ambulance which normally transport the Cancer, Eye and Heart cases for operations. This Ambulance too has been detained at vavuniya.

INTRNATIONAL ORGANISATION

As the Govt. organisation is not in a position to provide the services to the people, some international organisations such as UNHCR, CARE, ICRC, MSF, SCF, REDBARNA, OXFAM, FOURRUT came to the rescue of the people. Ever since, the Sri Lankan Govt. has imposed restrictions on the successful functioning of these organisations.

As a result, the aid and assistance to these people are given on alimited scale. There is no buffer stock for the immediate and urgent supply for these people, who are displaced. The Govt. has imposed restriciton on the trasport of these relief items from places where these are available. Only a few people are benefited due to the long delay of granting permission to transport some items by Non Governmental Organisations. So to satisfy the needs of the people are not possible.

Hence we appeal to permit THE SRI LANKAN RED CROSS SOCIETY which is an NGO in Sri Lanka to function independetly without political interference.

The funds from the Non Governmental and International Organisations collected on behalf of the affected people of the North & East provinces are channeled towards the defence fund of Sri Lanka government. Taking this into consideration, we request the donor nations to channel the funds direct to the social service organisations of the Northeren and Eastern provinces. This would lead to a suitable solution for the multi-racial country like Sri Lanka, which has a Unitary form of Government.

We wish to place on record the undesirable activity of the ' SARVODAYA ' movement which has it's Head Quarters in Colombo. This movement receives money from International organisations for the relief work of the people in North and East. But the funds collected are utilised for the state sponsored Sinhalese colonisation at Veli Oya.

Chairman/ Secretary

cc:
1. The Head of Delegate                     2. Resident Representative
 ICRC Colombo                                 W.H.O Colombo

3. Resident Representative                  4. PresidentlSecretary General
 U.N.H.C.R Colombo                           S.L.R.C Colombo