Northern Sri Lanka was overwhelmed by the affects of the December Tsunami, however, due to a militia force called the Tamil Tiger Army, the people of this region are finding it harder and harder to seek the funds that they need in order to rebuild and help to relieve the devastation. The Tamil Tigers have been fighting for a separate homeland since 1983 in a conflict that has killed more than 60,000 people. Peace negotiations are stalled over a Tamil Tiger demand that talks focus on allowing self-government for Tamils.
The Tsunami Relief Fund that everyone over the world has been donating to in order to reach the victims of the tsunami is distributed by the government officials, which means areas the government doesn’t occupy do not receive funding to help with the aftermath of such a disaster. The Sri Lanka government has not been in the Northern region since 1983, which causes for one of the worst hit areas of the tsunami to have to hope that eventually this conflict between the Tamil Tigers and the government will cease, or at least subside in order to help the nations people.
The South Asia News Designers reported Asian; European and U.S. leaders agreed on Jan. 6, 2005, that the UN should coordinate the world’s biggest peacetime relief operation. Countries pledged aid of almost $5 billion, and asked for almost $1 billion more in emergency funds to aid South Asian and East African nations hit by the tsunami. International relief efforts have focused on Indonesia and Sri Lanka, the two worst hit countries. About 113,000 people perished in Indonesia; Sri Lanka has reported more than 30,000 dead.
On February 7, 2005, According to South Asia News Designers, “Sri Lanka’s key lenders held fresh talks with the Tamil Tiger rebels to assess tsunami damage amid hopes of finalizing a reconstruction plan estimated to cost 1.5 billion dollars, officials said.” The tsunami killed close to 31,000 people and much of the coastal areas in Sri Lanka are destroyed. After this disaster, many thought that the Tamil Tigers would unite with the other side of the nation after almost three decades of war, however, due to the struggles with the funding, the struggle continues.
According to The Tamil Rehabilitation Organization, an organization funded by Tamils living outside the borders of Sri Lanka, report that due to a lack of cooperation between the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tiger rebels hurts the delivery of food, water and other supplies. Naga Narendran, the head of the Disaster Management Team at for the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization said, “If both sides can put aside differences to work together in this tragedy, it would really help our relief efforts because government bureaucracy is delaying the delivery of food and medicine.”
Peace brokers in Norway have been trying to arrange a deal between Colombo and the Tamil Tigers trying to come up with some type of structure to handle the millions of dollars of tsunami aid, however there has been little progress. Unfortunately, the Tamil Tigers are causing more problems for the relief efforts from all over the world. The people of Sri Lanka will be in turmoil from the tsunami for years to come, and regrettably the people of Northern Sri Lanka are left to clean up much of this mess on their own, without much relief from others. Thankfully this world has the United Nations, and hopefully with the strong coalition from the UN, the people from Northern Sri Lanka will soon see brighter days after this horrific tragedy.