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Mahinda's healing touch for Trinco victims

The Prez allocated SLRs 100 mn for relief work in the district, which saw large scale violence recently, reports PK Balachandran.

india Updated: Apr 27, 2006 17:41 IST

The Sri Lankan President on Thursday allocated SLRs 100 million for urgent relief and rehabilitation work in Trincomalee district, which  saw large scale violence, including aerial bombardment, recently.

A Task Force had been set up under the chairmanship of the Provincial Governor, Rear Admiral Mohan Wijewickrama, the Presidential Office said.

The government has asked national and international aid agencies to coordinate with the Task Force.

In a further step towards the restoration of normalcy, the government on Thursday reopened the Alpha 9 highway linking Vavuniya with Jaffna, through LTTE-controlled territory in the Wanni.

Trouble in the ethnically sensitive district began on April 12, after a bomb  ripped through the Central Market located in a predominantly Sinhala area in Trincomalee town.

The government and the  Security Forces blamed the LTTE for the blast which claimed 11 lives.

In the anti-Tamil riots which followed, about 6 persons were killed, Tamil properties were torched and hundreds of families were displaced.

Tamil sources claimed that 4,000 families had been displaced.

They put the loss at SLRs 150 million.

After the LTTE tried to assassinate Army Commander Lt Gen Sarath Fonseka with a suicide bomber  in Colombo on April 25, the Sri Lankan forces launched a tri-services bombardment of the Sampur-Mutur area in Trincomalee district to silence the LTTE's guns which had fired on the naval base in Trincomalee.

The military action led to the displacement of 10,718 Tamil families, the Government Agent said.