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Batticaloa flood victims denied relief due to shortage of funds

[TamilNet, Sunday, 27 February 2011 08:17 No Comment]

Most of the employees of the Batticaloa Teaching Hospital were not paid flood relief advance due to insufficient funds released by Colombo. Only 118 employees of 420 had been paid flood relief advance from the Rs. 15m received from the central health ministry, according to hospital Medical Superintendent Dr.K.Muruganandam. Rs. 90million is needed to pay the entire workforce of the hospital, he added.

Amid announcements made the Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Amaraweera that the government has allocated required money for each district from the fund it had received from foreign countries, many local authorities have received grossly inadequate funds for relief disbursment, local NGOs said.

While Sri Lanka’s President Rajapakse and Senior Ministers in his government have made public statments that the local authorities should give primary importance to welfare needs of the affected population, local authorities have not demonstrated willingness to make the disbursment of relief funds efficient.

Civil sources say that Colombo has privately directed the local authorities to adopt strict disbursement procedures as has been the strategy adopted by the ruling government in many other aid related actions to Northeast.

Conflicting public and private policies adopted by Government officials have triggered protests by local residents in front of hospitals and divisional secretariats, civil sources said.

The two waves of flood in December last year and in January this year had made large number of families in the Batticaloa district seeking refuge temporary welfare centres for several days.

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