Refugees complain to President
| Date: 19980721
Two thousand seven hundred and four refugees living in Thirukkovil, 60 km south of Batticaloa, faxed the Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga on July 21, complaining that they had not been issued dry rations for May and June this year, said sources in Batticaloa.
These refugees who were displaced from areas such as Kanjikudichchaaru, Naavanaaru, Thangavelyuthapuram and Aligambay in the Amparai District after 1990, requested the President to not only restore the quota of dry rations they were entitled to, but to see that the arrangements for their resettlement in the areas they came from were completed expeditiously.
Meanwhile, of this group of displaced, 261 persons who are hunters from Kanjikudichchaaru and Aligambay are to be resettled in Kalliyantheevu, in the Amparai District.
They have written to the Ministry of Social Services stating that even basic facilities were unavailable Kalliyantheevu. They say that both Sri Lanka Government authorities as well NGOs are indifferent to their needs.
These 261 refugees also face an additional problem in that 80 children have been placed in school with inadequate facilities and only three teachers. The affected have written to the Ministry of Education asking why their children are being subjected to this discrimination when there is a well equipped school at Thirukkovil.
The displaced persons from Aligambay have also written Minister M.H. M. Ashraff, (Sri Lanka Muslim Congress- Digamadulla (Amparai) District) who is also the minister in charge of rehabilitation in the East, requesting that they be given facilities to settle in Kalliyantheevu permanently because they fear returning to their villages due to the presence of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA), said sources.