The visiting 10-member parliamentary delegation from Tamil Nadu went on a tour of the camps for the war displaced in Vavuniya district and interacted with the inmates.
The residents complained of congestion and day-to-day difficulties. Most of the displaced people expressed their desire to return to their homes at the earliest.
Accompanied by Indian High Commissioner Alok Prasad and Sri Lankan officials, the delegation landed at the Palaly airport near Jaffna in the morning and flew down in a chopper to the Alfred Duraiappah Stadium in the town.
Daily Mirror reporter N. Parameswaran told The Hindu that Social Service Minister Douglas Devananda and Northern Province Governor-General Chandrasiri took them to the re-built Jaffna library.
“The Jaffna Fishermen society made a request to the delegation leader, T.R. Baalu, stop the Indian fishermen from intruding into the northern Sri Lankan sea for fishing. Mr. Baalu assured them that he would discuss the subject with Union Home Minister, P. Chidambaram,” said Mr. Parameswaran.
Mr. Baalu garlanded the statue of the late S.J.V. Chelvanayagam, leader of the Federal Party, fondly referred as Sri Lanka’s Gandhi.
On the eve of the delegation’s visit, Mr. Devananda urged the people of Jaffna peninsula to unite “to show our bond and feelings for our blood-related Tamil Nadu people and the Indian people.”
Mr. Devananda said people should use this opportunity to get assistance from India in general and Tamil Nadu in particular to develop the region.
According to local journalists, the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) led by Mr. Devananda had mobilised people on the streets in Jaffna to welcome the visitors.
Meanwhile, Anandasangaree, president of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), in a letter to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, said the steps taken by his government had failed to bring relief to several thousand Internally Displaced Persons who were facing innumerable problems.
“The problem of the IDPs is the most serious one the country is facing today and should be solved without any delay…Your Excellency, with great reluctance I wish to point out that some of your advisers do not seem to be briefing you properly… Please take speedy action to establish democratic governance in areas liberated from the LTTE in the North and the East.”
“There cannot be any more hard-core tigers left in the IDP camps. Most of them had been identified and the authorities were informed. Please release all of them who are still in the IDP camps or in rehabilitation centres who had very little training or no arms training at all,” the letter said.