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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2610

ZOA Refugee Care denies providing any assistance to LTTE in Sri Lanka

Colombo, 13 January, (Asiantribune.com): ZOA Refugee Care denied providing any assistance to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, or to any LTTE-related organizations or to the LTTE-hospital in the area.

ZOA Refugee Care is an international and Protestant agency, based in the Netherlands, and focuses on relief and rehabilitation among refugees and IDPs. ZOA is the abbreviation in Dutch for Zuid (South) Oost (East) Azie (Asia).

Bernard Jaspers Faijer, ZOA Refugee Care’s Country Director, Sri Lanka released a press statement yesterday denying any dealings with LTTE - Sri Lanka’s separatist Tamil rebel outfit.

Bernard Jaspers Faijer in his statement emphasized, "According reports in the media the Special Task Force in Ampara recently overran the Stanly camp of the LTTE. In relation to this certain media reports suggested a linkage between ZOA and the LTTE-hospital in the area. ZOA like to emphasize that its work is strictly humanitarian for the benefit of the local community. ZOA did not at any time provide assistance to the LTTE or LTTE-related organizations or to the LTTE-hospital in the area."

Earlier "Asian Tribune" e-mailed to Otto Kamsteeg , Head fundraising department ZOA Refugee Care’s in Netherland, bringing to his notice of the allegation that ZOA is actively involved in helping the LTTE, which is presently proscribed in Netherland, in running a fully fledged hospital inside one of the LTTE’s camp, for the terrorists, in the Amparai district located in the restive eastern province of Sri Lanka.

Also "Asian Tribune" pointed out of the allegation that ZOA was involved in building 40 houses to house the cadres of the alleged terrorist organization in Amparai district.

ZOA - a Dutch Protestant Agency is suspected of running hospital inside LTTE camp in Amparai in East Sri Lanka

Asian Tribune brought to the notice of Otto Kamsteeg for his comments about these serious allegations leveled against ZOA.

When contacted over the telephone Otto Kamsteeg told something of an apology by the Sri Lanka Government and said that a statement would be released to Asian Tribune:

We give below the full text of the statement released by Bernard Jaspers Faijer, ZOA Refugee Care’s Country Director, Sri Lanka

Since 1995 ZOA Refugee Care is supporting people in Sri Lanka who are displaced due to the conflict and tsunami. ZOA supports the people irrespective their race, religion or political affiliation. ZOA is working in both cleared and uncleared areas throughout the country. Working areas are designated by the government and ZOA is working in close cooperation with the government.

One of ZOA’s working areas is in Ampara district. According reports in the media the Special Task Force in Ampara recently overran the Stanly camp of the LTTE. In relation to this certain media reports suggested a linkage between ZOA and the LTTE-hospital in the area. ZOA likes to emphasize that its work is strictly humanitarian for the benefit of the local community. ZOA did not at any time provide assistance to the LTTE or LTTE-related organizations or to the LTTE-hospital in the area.

ZOA has been working with the community of the nearby village of Thangavelayuthapuram since 1997 when they were displaced in Thirukkovil. From 2003 we have been working with the returnee community in the village. In October 2004 we opened a site office in Thangavelayuthapuram and expanded our activities. A spirit of hope and confidence in the future emerged in the village. ZOA cooperated with the local community in the following activities:

1. Distribution of highland crop inputs to 700 families

2. Loans, agriculture inputs and support to Women Rural Development Society and Widows group.

3. Income generation support to 38 families

4. Construction of 20 drinking water wells.

5. Construction of temporary hut for government school.

6. Support to purchase a van for the Rural Development Society as serving the community.

7. Water supply system for school and preschool.

8. Provision of additional educational & teaching materials for government school and preschool.

9. Improvement of play ground for school.

10. Training of 10 community health volunteers.

11. Provision of transport to Ministry of Health clinics in the village.

12. Counseling & psycho social support to community.

13. Repair of a temporary building to accommodate community preschool.

14. Nutrition supplied to preschool children.

15. Repair of access & internal roads, including culverts & bridge culverts.

16. Upgrading of 130 transitional shelters.

17. Construction of a bus passenger shelter.

18. Telephone with solar panel provided to community to run a telecom centre.

19. Construction of a model house & one model toilet in village.

20. Setup of a block factory to produce blocks in village.

Unfortunately the security situation in the area deteriorated rapidly in 2006. This forced ZOA to evacuate its office in August 2006 and suspend all activities. Since than a large part of the population of the village has left the area and became once again displaced.

ZOA is a transparent organization. ZOA is always willing to share information about its work. Should there be any question about ZOA’s work in this particular location in Ampara district or in any other location, please don’t hesitate to contact us. More information and contact details can be found on our website: www.zoa.nl

Bernard Jaspers Faijer,
Country Director,
ZOA Refugee Care Netherlands,
Sri Lanka,
Signed 10 January 2007.

- Asian Tribune

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