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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2731

UK To Send Food Supplies Avoiding Colombo Government, Tamil Group Says

Neville de Silva, Diplomatic Editor Asian Tribune

London, 01 October, (Asiantribune.com): The British Government has decided to send food aid to the Vanni but it would not be channeled through the Sri Lanka Government, a British minister has said according to a Tamil group that met him.

Shahid Malik, the minister responsible for the Department for International Development (DIfD) reportedly told a delegation from the British Tamils Forum (BTF) that he is very concerned that for "over two weeks no food supplies have reached the Vanni", a press statement from the BTF said.

Malik is reported to have said that he has asked the Sri Lanka Government why the 60 lorries that were supposed to have been sent to the Vanni on Monday had not left "as yet" probably meaning Tuesday when he met with the BTF delegation. He had said he was expecting answers within 48 hours.

The British minister is reported to have said that one of the main reasons for the large scale internal displacement is due to the "indiscriminate aerial bombardment of the Tamil areas."

He is also reported to have said that the British Government is committed to helping and aiding the "developing human catastrophe within the Tamil areas of Sri Lanka. This aid, he categorically said will not be channeled through the GOSL but will be channeled through local and international INGOs like the ICRC."

According to the BTF Malik said that the British Government does not agree with the GOSL’s general assessment that all local Tamil NGOs which are currently working within the Vanni area are all controlled by the LTTE.

The BTF has submitted an estimate that requires a contribution of British Pounds 20 million for immediate relief efforts. The estimate submitted b y the BTF had been worked out in conjunction with local NGOs currently working within the Vanni area.

The British minister is supposed to have said that he would study this alongside the report that is expected to be submitted by the British assessment team that was sent by his department to assess the humanitarian aid and access to food supplies. The team is now back in London.

- Asian Tribune -

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