An Update on Resettlement of Sampoor IDPs

Assist RR made an appeal in Feb 2017 seeking more support towards the resettlement of Sampoor IDPs. As a result, Assist RR has now constructed 50 more shelters and are currently constructing another 10 shelters. Donors who generously contributed to these shelters are: IMHO USA – 23; IMHO Canada – 30; A Tamil from USA – 3, Tamils from Singapore – 3; A Tamil from UK – 1. Since the start of resettlement of Sampoor IDPs in Sept 2015, Assist RR, with the support of many Diaspora organisations and kind hearted individuals from around the globe, has managed to build 161 permanent toilets and 180 semi-permanent shelters. IMHO USA has pledged funds to construct another 60 shelters. IMHO USA also donated funds to assist fishermen families by providing five sets of fishing boats, engines, and nets at a cost of Rs 550,000 per set. These were handed over at a ceremony on 25 June 2017. Treasurer of IMHO USA, Mr Murali Ramalingam, participated at this event and handed over these items. IMHO USA has also agreed to fund five more sets of fishing equipment.  There is still need for more shelters in Sampoor. The cost of a shelter is only £600. Please assist these unfortunate families, who are struggling without a decent shelter even after 2 years of resettlement. Please see photos below. You can also watch a youtube link, which shows the living condition of a widow: Living Conditions in Sampoor after their Resettlement. We would like to express our gratitude to IMHO USA, IMHO Canada, and Diaspora Tamils from the USA, Singapore, and the UK for their kind support in assisting the IDP families in Sampoor. We also would like to thank Assist RR SL’s President Eng Henry Amalraj and Treasurer Eng Nalliah Sriskandarajah for their selfless services to the victims of war in the north and east. 

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மூதூர், பாட்டாளிபுரம் மாணவர்களுக்கு மிதிவண்டி அன்பளிப்பு

அண்மையில்  எனது இலங்கை பயணத்துக்கு முன்,  04/06/17  அன்று யேர்மனி கேவலார் என்ற இடத்தில் திருமதி கலைவாணி எகானந்தராஜா அவர்களுடைய ஒலி/ஒளி இறுவெட்டு வெளியீட்டிற்காக அழைக்கப்பட்டிருந்தோம். திருமதி கலைவாணி அவர்களினால் உருவாக்கப்பட்ட ஜெர்மனி/நையினை நாகபூசணி பாமாலை பாடல் இறுவெட்டினை வெளியீடு செய்து அவரை கௌரவப்படுத்தும் வாய்ப்பினை ஏற்றுக்கொண்டோம். பாடல்கள் அனைத்தும், தென் இந்திய கலைஞர்களுக்கு ஈடாக பாடப்பட்டிருந்தமையை அவதானித்தோம். ஈழத்து இசைத்துறைக்கு திருமதி கலைவாணியின்  சேவை நீண்டகாலம் தொடரவேண்டும் என வாழ்த்துகிறோம். அத்துடன் அவ்விடத்தில், இலங்கையின் வடக்கு, கிழக்கு மாகாணங்களுக்கான புனர்வாழ்வும் புதுவாழ்வும் (Assist RR) நிறுவனத்தின் வேலைத்திட்டங்களை பரப்புவதற்கான ஒரு சந்தர்பமாகவும் எடுத்துக்கொண்டேன். புனர்வாழ்வும் புதுவாழ்வும் (Assist RR)  நிறுவனத்தின் வேலைத்திட்டங்களையும், போரால் பாதிக்கப்பட்ட மக்களுடைய  தேவைகள் பற்றியும் ஒரு ஆவண விளக்க உரையை நான் செய்திருந்தேன். அந்த விளக்கவுரை பார்வையாளரிடையே நன்றாக உள்வாங்கப்பட்டதுடன், தொடர்ந்தும் ஜேர்மனியில் இதுபோன்ற ஆவண விளக்க உரைகளை நடாத்தவேண்டும் என்று கேட்டிருந்தனர். பார்வையாளர்களில் ஒருவர், இந்த தேவைகளுக்காக நாமும் ஏதாவது பங்களிப்பு செய்யவேண்டும் என கூறி ,பார்வையாளர்களிடம் பணம் சேகரிக்க தொடங்கினார். அங்கு திரட்டப்பட்ட உதவிப்பணம் 385 யூரோவாக உயர்ந்து எம்மிடம் கையளிக்கப்பட்டது. கேவலர், யேர்மனி இடம்பெயர் தமிழர்கள், போரால் பாதிக்கப்பட்ட மக்களுடைய ஏதாவது தேவையை நிறைவேற்றுமாறு எங்களிடம் கேட்டிருந்தனர். நான் யூன் 6 முதல் யூன் 15 வரை இலங்கையில் நின்ற போது, பாட்டாளிபுரம், மூதூரில் உள்ள பின் தங்கிய கிராமத்துக்கு சென்றிருந்தேன். மூதூரில் ஏழு கிராமங்களில் தமிழ் ஆதிவாசிகள் (வேடுவர்கள்) வசிக்கிறார்கள். அங்கு உள்ள ஆதிவாசிகள், தேன் எடுப்பதுவும், விறகு வெட்டுவதும், வேட்டையாடுவதும் தமது வாழ்வாதாரமாக கொண்டுள்ளனர். பலவகைகளிலும் அவர்கள் தமது வாழ்க்கையை முன்னேற்றுவதற்கு உதவி தேவைப்பட்டவர்களாகவும், தனிமை படுத்தப்பட்டவர்களாகவும் உள்ளனர். புனர்வாழ்வும் புதுவாழ்வும் நிறுவனத்தின் மூலம் பாட்டாளிபுரம் பாடசாலை பிள்ளைகளுக்கு மிதிவண்டியும், பாடசாலை முடிந்தபின் மேலதிக கல்வி உதவியும் செய்ய முன்வந்தோம். எங்களுடைய வாக்குறுதியில் அவர்கள் நம்பிக்கையற்றவர்களாக காணப்பட்டனர். காரணம் அவர்கள் கூறினார்கள் “எத்தனையோ பேர் வந்தார்கள், போனார்கள் அவர்களிடமிருந்து எந்த உதவிகளோ, ஆதரவோ கிடைத்ததில்லை” என வருத்தம் தெரிவித்தனர். சென்ற ஞாயிற்றுக்கிழமை (25/06/17) இலங்கைக்கான எமது நிறுவனத்தின் தலைவர் திரு. கென்றி அமல்ராஜ் மீண்டும் பாடாளிபுரம் சென்று, 04/06/17 இல் கேவலர், யேர்மனி இடம்பெயர் தமிழர்களால் திரட்டப்பட்ட உதவிப்பணத்தில், ஆறு மிதிவண்டிகளை கொள்வனவு செய்து அந்த பகுதி  மாணவர்களுக்கு கையளித்தார். திருமதி கலைவாணி அவர்களின் இறுவெட்டு வெளியீட்டுவிழாவில் இந்த பங்களிப்பை வழங்கிய அனைவருக்கும் நன்றி கூற கடமைப்பட்டுள்ளேன்.

நன்றி /வணக்கம் .  Dr.வேலாயுதம் .சர்வேஸ்வரன்

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Assistance to people affected by flooding in the south

Assist RR appealed to assist the flood victims in the south of Sri Lanka and many of you came forward and donated funds. Kind hearted contributors to the relief efforts are: IMHO USA - $5000; CHRF, UK – £1500; Enlightenment Circle, UK – £500; Assist RR, UK – £1587.50. A day after the flooding, Assist RR (SL)’s volunteers went to Kalutara and distributed emergency relief items worth Rs 230,000. Nearly 50,000 school children lost their belongings in the floods and that these children needed assistance to replace their school items such as school bags, exercise books, pens, pencils, water bottles, lunch boxes, etc. Assist RR therefore bought these items and distributed to 1200 affected children from 5 schools in Ratnapura costing Rs 1.2 Million. Hon Deputy Minister of Education, Mr Rathakrishnan assisted us in identifying the most affected village called Ayagama in RatnapuraThe Provincial Director of Education of Sabaragamuwa Province organised a ceremony for the distribution of the school items and Hon Minister Mr Rathakrishnan also attended the event. The officials and parents were very happy to see some Tamils from the North and East have thought about their plight and came to support them in their hour of need. Assist RR representatives were astonished by their welcome and hospitality. We hope that this is a tiny step towards true reconciliation between the communities. Please remember that many Sinhalese including Dr Dias Jeyasiri, Dr Asela Abeydeera, and many others, have been supporting Assist RR to help the needy Tamils in the north and east in many ways. Assist RR are planning to do the same in Kalutara using support received from Malaysian Tamil Diaspora. However Assist RR need more funds to assist the affected children and kindly request your support. Please use the link below to donate any amount to help the children. We would like to thank the donors including IMHO USA, CHRF UK, Enlightenment Circle UK, Malaysian Tamil Diaspora and UK Tamil  Diaspora, who provided funds to assist the flood victims. I also would like to thank Eng Henry Amalraj, President of Assist RR Sri Lanka, for organising the distribution of relief items. Please donate as much as you can, any amount is welcome

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A new building to PTK RCTM School

We are sure you are aware of UK Solihull Junior School’s Head Master, Mr Mark Penney and his family’s visit to Sri Lanka in August 2016 and followed by their pledge to part fund construction of a building to PTK RCTMS. During their charity week in October 2016, Solihull Junior School raised £10908 towards the construction of the building to PTK school (Solihull Junior School Raised £10908 to PTK RCTM School). As the cost of the 100′ long building was £23k, we needed more funds. A gentleman from Sutton, UK, Mr K Sivashankar, originally from Nelliyady, Karaveddy, donated £4000, plus £1000 of gift aid of his donation, in memory of his mother, late Mrs Puvaneswary Kanapathipillai from his native village. Assist RR, UK, funded the rest needed to complete the construction of this building. The building was ceremonially declared open on 14 June 2017 by Mr Premananthan, additional Provincial Director of Education of the NPC. The school community was very happy that they do not need to conduct lessons under unsafe temporary shelters covered with tarpaulins and thanked all the donors, who made their dream a reality. We would like to express our gratitude to Solihull Junior School, Mr Sivashankar and the UK Tamil Diaspora for providing the funds needed to provide a safe and acceptable environment for learning to the children of Puthukudiyiruppu. 

A short clip of the opening ceremony

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Assist RR’s Cardiology & Echocardiogram Clinic in Mannar

Due to the absence of specialist cardiology service provision in Mannar district in Sri Lanka and the resulting long list of patients waiting to see a cardiologist in Jaffna or Vavuniya, Assist RR (UK & SL) set up a cardiology and echocardiogram clinic in collaboration with the Ministry of Health of Northern Provincial Council in Mannar between 5th-9th June 2017. This clinic was conducted by Dr Wala Mattar and Dr Mayooran Shanmuganathan, who are cardiology doctors from Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals in London, UK. Over the course of 5 days, 255 patients of all ages were seen by the cardiologists. These patients would otherwise have had to wait months for an appointment and travel 100s of kilometres to see a cardiac specialist, often involving an overnight admission to Mannar hospital and inter-hospital transport the next morning. During this clinic, the doctors assessed their symptoms, clinical signs including blood pressure and performed an echocardiogram on all the patients. Patients with heart conditions were given follow up appointments with a general medical physician in Mannar District General Hospital. A handful of patients were referred to the nearest paediatric cardiologist, interventional cardiologist and cardiothoracic surgeon for further evaluation of their symptoms with view to an interventional procedure or surgery. Assist RR remains grateful to the donors who contributed towards the cost of accommodation food and local travel for the participating doctors. The remaining funds will be used towards running of the same clinics in the future. To read the full story, please click the link below:

Assist RR Cardiology & Echo Cardiogram Clinic Mannar June 2017

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Fund raising at the IMHO USA dinner in Atlanta

International Medical Health Organisation (IMHO) USA held their annual dinner on 17 June 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.  IMHO USA invited Assist RR to present the needs of Sampoor IDPs at the dinner. Chairman of Assist RR attended the dinner and made a presentation on Sampoor needs. The dinner was well attended by USA Tamil Diaspora. Highlight of the dinner was an American auction of a silk saree. It was mentioned that the proceeds will go towards Sampoor and other projects in Sri Lanka. Assist RR have conducted similar auctions in the UK and, in one occasion, we managed to raise  £1200. But this auction was an unbelievable event. At the end of the auction, they raised $110,000 for good causes. It was really amazing that people from the USA were willing to donate this amount of monies to the needy in Sri Lanka. Assist RR salute their generosity and kindness and wish to express its gratitude on behalf of the needy in Sri Lanka. Using the funds raised at the dinner, IMHO USA has agreed to donate $50,000 towards building 60 shelters and $18,500 towards 5 sets of fishing boats to Sampoor fishermen families. Assist RR would like to thank IMHO USA for their continued support to the needy people in Sampoor. IMHO USA has already funded 59 shelters, 50 toilets, and 5 sets of fishing boats, engines, and fishing nets, and other projects. The total funding from the IMHO USA so far is around $100,000 excluding the funds raised at the dinner. Please watch the living conditions in Sampoor by clicking the link below:

Living conditions in Sampoor following Resettlement in 2016

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Assist RR Annual Dinner 2017

Our annual dinner was held on 28 Jan 2017 in Essex. Dr Somasundararajah, our patron and a trustee of Birmingham Balaji temple, volunteered to emcee the event and also gave a speech on Assist RR’s achievements. Miss Gaayini Nadanakumaran gave the welcome speech and Mr Mark Penney, Head Master of Solihull Junior School, joined us with his family and gave a powerpoint presentation based on his visit to Sri Lanka in July 2016. Dr Sathiyamoorthy, Director of Jaffna Teaching Hospital, joined us through Skype and spoke about the issues facing the education of children from remote villages. Our Chairman, Dr V Sarveswaran, also gave a presentation on Assist RR’s projects in the North and East. We would like to thank the youngsters, who volunteered and performed very well at the dinner. Two of our members sponsored all the expenses including hall hire, sound, food, etc., and another member made a donation of £250. Including this donation, we managed to raise £3815 at the dinner. Out of this, Assist RR donated £2300 to an organisation called ORHAN in Vavuniya. ORHAN (Organization for Rehabilitation of the Handcapped) in Vavuniya district was established in 1999 and working for persons with disabilities. It has been providing various services to persons with disabilities such as special school for mentally challenged children, Physiotherapist unit, and vocational training unit etc. The balance will be used for various educational activities in the north and east.

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