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Malaysia ready to adopt a village

By Our Special Correspondent

Photo: S.R. Raghunathan

The Malaysian Minister, Dato Sami Vellu, handing over to the Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, a cheque towards the Chief Minister's Public Relief Fund in Chennai on Thursday.

CHENNAI, JAN. 13. The Malaysian Works Minister, Dato Samy Vellu, today said that his country was prepared to adopt a tsunami-hit village and build all infrastructure there.

Shortly after handing over a cheque for Rs. 2 crores to the Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, for the Chief Minister's Public Relief Fund (CMPRF) at the Secretariat here, he said the donation was given on behalf of the Government and the people of Malaysia as directed by the Prime Minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. He conveyed the Malaysian people's sympathies to the tsunami victims in the State and wished them speedy recovery from trauma.

He indicated the Malaysian Government's wish to adopt a tsunami-ravaged village. On receipt of details in a couple of weeks, his Government would go ahead with the rehabilitation measures through the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) of Malaysia, he added.

Ms. Jayalalithaa conveyed her thanks to Mr. Badawi and the Malaysian people for their support and solidarity. Mr. Samy Vellu was accompanied by the Chief Executive Officer of CIBD, Hamzah Hasan, Consul General of Malaysia in Chennai, Rosli, and the Managing Director, IJM company, Krishnan Tan.

CPI donation

The editor of `Ananda Vikatan' and managing director of the Vikatan Group, S. Balasubramanian, handing over a cheque. to the Chief Minister at the Secretariat on Thursday. B. Srinivasan, Joint Managing Director of the Vikatan Group looks on.

The State secretary of the Communist Party of India (CPI), R. Nallakannu, and the legislature party leader, G. Palanichamy, called on the Chief Minister and handed over cheques for Rs. 5.19 lakhs, which included Rs. 60,000 contributed by the party MLAs, towards the CMPRF. Ms. Jayalalithaa thanked them.

Mr. Nallakannu said the administration had intensified the relief work, more particularly after the all-party meeting convened by the State Government on January 7. However, some hiccups continued in executing the relief measures, he said. In Chennai city, house owners garnered the relief, leaving the fishermen who rented the dwelling units in the lurch. In some places the house owners threatened to evict the tsunami victims if they continued to insist on getting relief package, he claimed.

According to him, relief had not been extended to shop owners and farmers in the affected areas from Vedaranyam to Cuddalore, though the waves had washed the shops away, besides leaving the paddy and groundnut fields raised on over one lakh acres inundated.

On the Chief Minister's appeal to the Democratic People's Alliance parties to help the State in getting more Central help for relief and rehabilitation, Mr. Nallakannu said the CPI would continue to impress upon the Centre to provide adequate assistance to the State. He reiterated the demand for setting up vigilance committees comprising representatives of political parties and non-governmental organisations to ensure that the relief reached genuine beneficiaries.

More contributions

Seven others handed over cheques for a total of Rs. 5.91crores to the Chief Minister for the CMPRF. Those who donated over and above Rs. 25 lakhs were O. Paneerselvam, Public Works Minister, on behalf of the Revenue Department (Rs. 78.28 lakhs), Nainar Nagenthran, Industries Minister, on behalf of 10 units under the department (Rs. 3.05 crores), V. Somasundaram, Minister for Handlooms and Textiles, (Rs. 1.24 crores), and S. Balasubramanian, Editor, Ananda Vikatan (Rs. 30.01 lakhs).

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