Tuesday, November 29, 2005

TRO head meets Bill Clinton

Executive director of the Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) K.P.Reggie met with the UN special envoy for post Tsunami reconstruction and former US President Bill Clinton in Colombo today.

Mr.Reggie informed Mr.Clinton on the successful completions of Phase I and II recovery and reconstruction efforts in the six affected districts of the North-East. Further the head of the TRO expressed concern over the slow progress of Phase III due to the politicisation of aid distribution by extremist elements in Sri Lankan government. He highlighted the lack of an acceptable institutional mechanism for the delivery of tsunami aid to be a crucial problem.

In recent months the government of Sri Lanka and the Southern Sinhala media have unleashed an image staining campaign against the TRO family of registered organizations that operate across the world. In Sri Lanka the TRO office in Batticaloa has come under grenade and automatic fire five times in 2005 alone. Numerous other attacks have been carried out against TRO offices, vehicles and staff in many locations by men believed to be members of government funded paramilitaries.

Last week offices of TRO Australia were targeted by anti-terror police on the request of the Sri Lankan Government. The raids did not lead to any arrests or cause major disruption to TRO activities. However, the Government of Sri Lanka going to such extreme lengths to tarnish the image of TRO has raised major concerns amongst Tamils worldwide.

Bill Clinton also met with the current Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the former President Chandrika Kumaratunga.

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