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US body to set up rehabilitation centres in North and South

[Sunday Times.lk, Monday, 8 November 2010 09:51 No Comment]

A US-based non-government organisation (NGO) that has close links with the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) is planning to set up two rehabilation centres, one in the North and one in the South, to help Sri Lankans ravaged by more than two decades of war.

The Physical/Psycho-Social Rehabilitation Institute (PPSRI), which has the blessings of the government, will set up a centre in Mannar and another in Tangalle. The primary goal is to treat physically and psychologically traumatised persons and help them re-integrate with the community.
PPSRI president Dr. Kumarlal Fernando told the Sunday Times that experts in the United States and Sri Lanka agree that the most pressing need after more than 20 years of civil unrest and physical and psychological trauma was rehabilitation.

The two centres will be equipped to treat patients suffering trauma, strokes, paralysis and injuries caused by landmines. “We plan to include prosthetic workshops in both the Northern and Southern locations, so that prosthetics could be produced locally,” said Dr. Fernando, a Sri Lankan expat who has been working in the US for more than 40 years.

In a letter to Dr. Fernando, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the US Jaliya Wickramasuriya, says: “As the resettlement of displaced persons in the North accelerates, the Physical/ Psycho-Social Rehabilitation Institute contributions to the rehabilitation of war victims and former combatants in the Northern and Southern Provinces will be immeasurable.”

As a non-profit US organisation dedicated to humanitarian operations, the PPSRI is exempt from taxes.
The funds will be raised in the US, and specifically through the Clinton Global Initiative, which has pledged US$63 billion to improve the lives of 300 million people living in the world’s poorest countries.

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