Lanka proposes to UN system to address post-disaster needs



Colombo: Sri Lanka has offered to share its experience of managing humanitarian disaster in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami with other countries.

Addressing the Economic and Social Council of UN, Sri Lanka's Ambassador in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha proposed to the world body to establish an international system to address the dire humanitarian situations in the aftermath of catastrophes.

He said cognisance must be taken of the need to not only address the immediate humanitarian needs in the aftermath of a disaster, but also as to how countries could rebuild the lives of affected people by promoting a recovery that is sustainable and development oriented.

Aryasinha said the approaches used in post-tsunami and post-conflict Sri Lanka, with suitable adaptation, could be deployed in managing humanitarian situations in other countries as well.

He said Sri Lanka is ready to share its experience as best practices on humanitarian effectiveness, with other countries that are similarly placed.

More than 30,000 people are believed to have died in Sri Lanka when tsunami struck the country on December 26, 2004.

Aryasinha recalled that as a country Sri Lanka had not only grappled with a separatist conflict for almost 30 long years, but also dealt with an unprecedented natural disaster in the form of the Asian Tsunami in 2004.

He explained in detail the systems deployed by the government over the four years in re-settling IDPs (internally displaced persons), de-mining, restoring livelihoods and property of those affected and initiating a programme to pay compensation to the conflict-affected residents of Northern Province, who lost loved ones and property and sustained injuries, as part of a process of restitution.

PTI