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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2965

One year after the tsunami, Sri Lankan survivors still live

One year after the tsunami, Sri Lankan survivors still live in squalor

On the anniversary of the December 26 tsunami, the Sri Lankan government called for two minutes silence nationwide in "commemoration of the dead," for prayers by people of all religions and for the organised giving of alms. Given that many tsunami survivors are still living in squalid temporary accommodation, the whole exercise was a sham.

On the day, President Mahinda Rajapakse attended an official function along with diplomats, the military top brass and religious leaders at Peraliya, where the huge waves had swept over a train, killing 1,500 passengers as well as about 1,000 villagers. None of the locals attended because the entire area was fenced off and heavily guarded.

Rajapakse declared that "under his personal direction," he would “carry forward with new and greater energy the task of building the homes and other property”. He said nothing concrete about the promises made during his election campaign last month and was compelled to obliquely admit that the victims of the tsunami had not received "maximum justice".

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