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Wednesday 13 July 2005

Maldives: The Government U-Turns Over Hulhu-Male’ Tsunami Victims

In the first week of July, Minivan News reported that Tsunami victims who were provided housing tents in Hulhu-Male’ had been ordered to leave their shelters by the 21st of July. “We have been given no reason as of why, except that the island was reclaimed at a huge cost and is now needed by the government” a refugee said to Minivan Radio on July 5th. The tsunami victims were reportedly told if they didn’t leave by July 21st they would be “forced out of their shelters with their belongings”.

Yesterday, however, the same group of people reported happier news. “We have been given permission from the disaster management centre to stay” a young girl in Hulhu-Male’ confirmed to Minivan Radio. The reports have also been confirmed by Maldives Aid, the aid wing of Salisbury-based Friends of Maldives, who have been monitoring the plight of the Tsunami victims on Hulhu-Male’. The tsunami victims are overjoyed at the decision. As one woman put it: “[We are] thankful to the government for letting us stay. I don’t know what we would have done if not.”

(Source: Minivan News)

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