A special ‘Disaster and Relief Centre’ managed by the Army has been established in Minneriya in the Forward Maintenance Area Headquarters (FMA) - East with the intention of coordinating and providing immediate assistance and relief for East - based civilians affected by floods and continuing rains, which is operational from December 27 on the instructions of the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake.
This ‘Disaster and Relief Centre’ which would collect public donations such as dry rations, clothes and other essentials invites the donors to hand over relief items to this Centre for subsequent distribution among the victims, most of who are from the East province.
This special Centre supervised by Major General Lal Perera, Commander, Security Force Headquarters - East (SFHQ-E) will remain open round the clock and can be contacted through Telephone 0273281919 / 0273274944.
Meanwhile, around 20,000 tri forces personnel are engaged in providing relief measures to persons who were evacuated to 409 welfare centers, the Director, Media Centre of Ministry of Defence and Urban Development, Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said.
He said that due to requests from civil authorities tri-forces personnel are engaged in these relief activities and if there is any other welfare centre that require the services of tri-forces personnel it could be arranged.
"Although the water levels of the areas that were inundated had gone down, people cannot be resettled in those houses. It is expected to engage soldiers in the rebuilding process with a view to re-establish the normalcy in the regions. Also, soldiers have been tasked for various activities such as to do research work and to obtain information".
“For relief activities the Tri Forces have deployed 07 battalions for 147 welfare camps in the east, 06 battalions for 86 welfare camps in the Wanni, 02 battalions for 13 welfare camps in Kilinochchi and army troops for 105 and 58 camps in the central and western regions respectively. Each battalion consists of 500-800 soldiers."
In addition to the above, 300 navy boats with 29 teams from the Navy and Airforce are being kept ready to assist in the relief activities, Brigadier Wanigasooriya added.