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TNA calls for donor support
R. Sampanthan
R. Sampanthan
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA ) has appealed to donors not to forget the situation in the north of the island, where some 60,000 displaced people remain in camps and many more are trying to resettle in devastated villages.

Last month the United Nations warned that funds for this part of Sri Lanka had sharply declined.

Speaking at a press conference in Colombo the leader of the Tamil National Alliance, R. Sampanthan, painted a picture of devastation after he led a party delegation visiting the north, where fighting ended a year ago.

He believed more than 200,000 displaced Tamil civilians had now returned to their villages but said more than 80% of their former houses were destroyed or damaged beyond repair. Most schools were also ruined.

“Children have no school uniforms, no school bags, no shoes, no school books, no stationery. Their parents are unable to purchase these requirements for them.” said the leader of the Tamil National Alliance.

Mr Sampanthan said tens of thousands of people remained in camps and a similar number were with host families. Urging potential donors to send more money to the north, he said that the situation was still an emergency and that there was much to be done for their needs in farming, livelihoods such as fishing, and so on.

The United Nations' Sri Lanka mission is now having to dig into emergency funds because of a serious shortfall in donor money.

These Tamil politicians, whose party used to be a proxy of the Tamil Tigers, are urging the government to release all detained former Tiger combatants immediately unless there's serious evidence against them.
But a senior military official told the BBC that the government will continue what it calls rehabilitation programmes for them, and that for some, this process will last up to two years; they say 2,000 have already been released.

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