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Friday, 8 July, 2005

Sri Lanka: Political bickering undermines tsunami rebuilding, says report

Lack of cooperation between Sri Lanka's government and the opposition parties has hampered the post-tsunami rebuilding process, a non-governmental organization monitoring relief work said here Thursday. Kingsley Rodrigo, chairman of People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL), said the lack of national consensus between the government and the opposition toward the rebuilding effort has impeded the process, slowing it down to an undesirable low at the ground level.

PAFFREL's report released on its supervision of relief work during the six months after the tsunami says that less than 1,000 of permanent houses had been completed out of over 64,000 houses required. Local councils are controlled by the main opposition party, and the central government's relations with them has affected the progress, Rodrigo said, adding that the political parties are using the victims for political gain he charged.

PAFFREL recommends a mechanism to be set up at village levels to avoid delays and to increase efficiency. The government has faced accusations from the main opposition for its alleged inefficient handling of the relief efforts. The victims say that the non-governmental organizations both local and international have been of more use than the state apparatus in handling the relief coordination, according to the report.

Two thirds of the country's coastal line was devastated in the tsunami tidal wave attack on Dec. 26 last year, which killed over 30,000 people.

(Source: Xinhua News Agency via ReliefWeb)
3 Comments Post a Comment
Anonymous Zon said :

It's amazing, this world we live in. Biggest human tragedy of recent history, and it's virtually forgotten in 6 months. Worse yet, it's those in power that forget about it. I gave my money to the Red Cross, but it's not like I can deliver relief supplies to Asia or anything. Keep up the pressure and the good work.

Sat Jul 09, 10:10:00 AM IST  
Anonymous Rebecca Kurber said :

Greetings from the School for International Training and World Learning.

If possible, I am requesting that the below press release be posted at your headquarters and shared with your network and members to insure that qualified candidates are reached. SIT, under the direction of our new president, Carol Bellamy, and in collaboration with Sarvodaya is offering a 12 month Masters Degree Program in Sustainable Development to be offered in Sri Lanka beginning in January 2006. We are encouraging NGO's , organizations and corporations with national and international presence to consider this program as a development benefit for their mid-level career employees and members.
If you would be so kind as to direct this posting to the most appropriate department and people, we would be grateful. Check out the website at www.sit.edu/srilanka

For Immediate Release: Contact: Dean John Nirenberg (802) 258-3216

Service Learning in Sri Lanka

School for International Training and Sarvodaya present a
12-month M.A. Degree in Sustainable Development

In December of 2004 a tsunami in the Indian Ocean destroyed the lives of 250,000 people and traumatized millions. What we often learn, after a tragedy such as this, is that the human spirit is enormously resilient and encourages us to ask the questions “Is there something of value that can be learned here? Is there a story to be told?, Can we be of true service to those affected?”.

School for International Training (SIT) says, “Absolutely, on all counts.” SIT’s mission is to create effective intercultural leaders under the best of circumstances and extraordinary ones under less than ideal conditions. This is why SIT has partnered with Sarvodaya, Sri Lanka’s largest non-governmental organization, to offer this unique degree program for those students who want to manage the academic rigors of a demanding curriculum with a challenging experiential learning component. Educating and training new leaders in relief and development efforts is a specialty of the Sustainable Development degree program at SIT.

According to the United Nations, as reported by IPS News, five months after the tsunami, there are 700 NGOs operating in Sri Lanka. According to Oxfam, '' The problem on the ground is that many agencies, in their haste to spend and with their lack of experience and knowledge of the context, just want to get on with reconstruction without consulting local communities.'' SIT is partnering with Sarvodaya, the most respected development NGO in Sri Lanka to offer a 12-month, service-learning-based M.A. degree in Sustainable Development with the intention of making a direct, meaningful contribution to the recovery effort. Under Sarvodaya’s guidance SIT will begin to replenish the supply of development professionals while contributing thousands of hours of para-professional work to the local communities. The SIT/Sarvodaya program will take students into the field with Sri Lankan Development professionals and into the communities and lives of those families affected by the tsunami. This effort will result in the application of best practices in development knowledge to the demands of the worst humanitarian crisis in our lifetime.

The candidates for the program will already have background in humanitarian related fields including several years of relevant experience. They will have tested themselves in intercultural situations and be comfortable living under very demanding circumstances. Pending a minimum of 15 students, this program will run from January 2006 to December 2006 and it is important that participants understand the demanding requirements of a full time on-site program such as this. The program is limited to 25 participants and is accepting applications now at www.sit.edu/srilanka

The School for International Training (http://www.sit.edu) was established by The Experiment in International Living in 1964 as a graduate degree-granting institution spawned from the original Peace Corps Training Center in Brattleboro, Vermont. Based on an experiential model of education with an emphasis on personal reflection for the purpose of creating transformational learning, SIT recognizes that there is no better lesson than considering what one learns in the classroom by applying it in the field.

Given its focus on intercultural interactions, SIT embraces its obligation to ensure that its learners are effective in cross-cultural settings and that they understand their citizenship responsibilities transcend local and national boundaries. SIT Study Abroad provides undergraduate learners with a distinctive international education in over 40 countries worldwide — including more opportunities in the developing world than any other program of its kind. Today SIT awards master’s degrees in Language Teacher Education; International Education; Sustainable Development; Conflict Transformation, Social Justice in Intercultural Relations; Management; Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management; and NGO Leadership and Management. SIT Study Abroad provides undergraduate learners with a distinctive international education in over 40 countries worldwide-including more opportunities outside the United States than any other program of its kind.

Mon Jul 11, 09:02:00 PM IST  
Blogger echovillegirl said :

um ya you said the tsunami "killed over 30,000 people", but it killed a TON more than that...no biggie probably a stupid mistake :) (the number figure was more in the 250,000 range)

Thu Jul 14, 07:10:00 AM IST