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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 74

Ask Lanka to allow relief ship, Karunanidhi tells Indian Govt

From S Murari, Chennai

Chennai, 19 June( Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Friday asked the India Government to prevail upon Sri Lanka to allow a ship carrying humanitarian aid collected by Tamils in Europe for the internally displaced people. Referring to reports that the ship had been turned away by the Sri Lankan Government, Mr Karunannidhi asked External Affairs Minister S M Krishna to take up the matter with the Sri Lankan government.

In a letter written to Mr Krishna, the Chief Minister pointed out the ship MV Captain Ali was ferrying 884 tonnes of food, medicine and other relief materials for Tamils civilians affected by the war. He said it was customary for the international community to come to the rescue of suffering people whoever they might be and wherever they were being rehabilitated.

He said the unloading and distribution of relief materials could be organized under the direct supervision of international agencies like Red Cross. The intervention on "purely humanitarian grounds" would go a long way in helping the internally displaced Tamils who were now being housed in makeshift camps.

The Chief Minister has deputed State Higher Education Minister K Ponmudi to personally take up the issue with Mr Krishna.

India has been providing relief, including medical assistance, to thousands of Tamils displaced by the war since November last year. All assistance has been routed through the ICRC. After the defeat of the LTTE in May, India has pledged Rs 500 crore for the relief and rehabilitation of nearly three lakh internally displaced now housed in camps in Vavunia.

-Asian Tribune -

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