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Last updated: 07 March, 2005 - Published 18:02 GMT
 
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Charity not the answer says fisher-folk
 
The fisher community had not even received the basic help to restore their life since the devastation of the tsunami says Pauline E Tangiora, the coordinator of World Forum of Fisher People [WFFP].

Pauline E Tangiora
Fisherpeople victims of the tsunami do not need charity says the coordinator of WFFP

At a press conference in Colombo, after a tour in the Southern coast of Sri Lanka, Pauline Tangiora said, “The forthcoming monsoon will make life even harsher for the fisher folk. People living in the tents will face the most difficult living conditions since the tsunami. The heat inside the tents will be unbearable while the camp sites will be flooded with rain water.”

“The children, you just have to look at their faces. Their faces are blank and the eyes are empty. But they soon became bright when they got powdered milk, other food products, books and pencils. It is also very apparent the children in camps had learned to share whatever they get.” The WFFP coordinator told the media.

Expressing her protest on how the government had treated the Fisher People since the tsunami, Pauline Tangiora said, “The fisher-people who lived all their lives in the beaches do not understand why they are taken away from the coast. If they are expected to earn their living, they need to be living in the coast. People are puzzled by the decision of the government to not let them build the houses where they were.”

Explaining to the media about her findings, Pauline Tangiora said, “One thing they made it very clear to me was that they do not want to live off charity, whether it is from the government or from the NGOs. They want to go back to work and earn their living. They want the government to help them to obtain their fishing gear. That is all they are asking for.”

 
 
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