Tsunami Disaster Appeal - Tamil Eelam
Executive Director, TRO meets UN
and submits letter detailing TRO's lead in the
in providing Tsunami relief
9 January 2004
Excerpts from letter from Mr.
Reggi, Executive Director, TRO to UN Secretary General, 9 January 2005
"Tamils Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) mobilized within hours of this
tragedy and deployed truck loads of critical relief items. We write to
you, on this occasion of your visit to Sri Lanka, to provide information
on our relief operations since the 26 December 2004 tragedy and our
“self-help” strategy for relief and recovery.
Our organization mobilized immediately by clearing dead bodies and
debris. In the period leading up to yesterday, we have dispatched 137
trucks (938 metric tones) of relief items (which includes volumes of
international aid and government distribution), clothing and food items,
tents for 3,200 families and 40,000 temporary sanitation facilities in
collaboration with international organizations. Jointly with other
organization we have 40 operational medical units. In the Jaffna
district, we have effectively consolidated 35 camps into 17 currently
operated by us and other local organizations (with aid from
international agencies and the government). In Trincomalee, we have
commenced preparatory work to resettle 900 families (with support from
the International Organization of Migration).
In this time of need, Tamils from our local and Diaspora communities
have galvanized behind us. On the ‘ground’ in the north and east, our
3500 local personnel spread across our eight district offices are being
assisted in the rescue and relief efforts by a 5500 strong team of
volunteers. On days immediately after 26 December 2004, the Tamils
Rehabilitation Organization mobilized 12,000 in the region.
Over a hundred professionals from the Diaspora network and the
international community are presently working with us in afflicted
regions and in our Colombo Office. Twelve medical teams (including
fifty-two doctors from the Diaspora and eighteen international doctors)
are addressing and assessing the health situation to curtail a major
disease epidemic; fifteen engineers are considering options for
immediate and long-term rebuilding of shelters, water purification and
sanitation; local psychiatrists are attending to many who were
traumatized by the tidal waves; and others are directly involved with
coordinating relief efforts from the Colombo office.
With the ever reliable assistance of our Diaspora community and the
continued support of the international community, the Tamils
Rehabilitation Organization has developed into a pivotal humanitarian
agency. An analysis of our response and strategy since the 26 December
2004 will demonstrate that our policy is based on clear and strategic
thinking, practical solutions, strong logistical support and rapid
response times. Our strategy is based on an in-depth understanding of
the critical health issues facing the displaced population and it is
based on a self-help foundation.
We are now mobilizing to construct short-term welfare centers with
improved sanitation standards, and organized and continuous access to
food, water and medicine. Self-sufficiency or self-help is our major
priority – the improved conditions at these short-term facilities will
help in the road to rehabilitation and recovery as the afflicted will
have access to contribute to their recovery through employment and
awareness on public health and psychological issues.
We appreciate the support the United Nations and other international
organizations have demonstrated in the past and we must credit them for
their hand in our development. In this desperate time of need, we, the
Tamils Rehabilitation Organization, urge the United Nations to
substantially increase their support and help us cater to the desperate
needs of those in the north and east."