Thirty complaints against officials handling tsunami relief
Seven officials charged with pilfering tsunami aid have been
interdicted and investigations are proceeding. The Women's Empowerment
and Social Welfare Ministry have received about 30 complaints regarding
Tsunami relief malpractices, Acting Social Welfare Minister S.M.
He said that no human rights organisation has reported to the
Ministry about misuse or not receiving Tsunami aid so far. The Ministry
is ready to investigate such incidents as soon as similar incidents are
reported to the Ministry.
The media helped to disclose malpractices related to tsunami relief
distribution and it decrease the number of malpractice incidents. The
authorities started investigations on incidents after the media reported
them. The persons who were planning to engage in malpractice abandoned
their plans after the media started to report them.
"I came from Horowpathana where the LTTE massacred 34 innocent people
including infants in one night. I saw what had happened to the people in
Horowpathana but I support the joint mechanism.
This strategy does not divide the country but unites it. This Joint
Mechanism helps to use Tsunami relief effectively. Otherwise the
valuable aid sent by foreign countries will be wasted or misused. JHU
confused the donor countries by opposing Joint Mechanism at the donor
forum," the Acting Minister added. Chandrasena said that the Women's
Empowerment and Social Welfare Ministry carries out other routine relief
programs such as flood relief programs, drought relief programs long
before and after the Tsunami hit Sri Lanka but sometimes Opposition
politicians use this to sling mud, saying we distribute Tsunami aid in
inland areas not affected by Tsunami.
The Ministry receives foreign relief for the victims of other natural
disasters such as floods, droughts, cyclones and landslides but now it
seems that all have forgotten the victims of other natural disasters and
they never get relief, he added.
The Acting Minister revealed those details during an interview held
on Tuesday (17) at his office, Sethsiripaya, Battaramulla.