M’sian govt’s US$1mil contribution to Sri Lankan Tamils is for relief work

  • Nation
  • Monday, 20 Aug 2012

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Government's contribution of US$1mil (RM3.13mil) to the children and war widows of Sri Lankan Tamils is meant for relief work and improving their livelihood.

Tamil Forum Malaysia (TFM) president Dr N. Iyngkaran said no cash handout would be given to any individual, non-governmental organisation (NGO) or Sri Lankan Tamil temporarily taking shelter in Malaysia.

He said the government had positively responded to the forum's appeal for funds to carry out relief work in Sri Lanka.

"TFM will ensure the money spent is audited accordingly, and a report will be submitted to the Registrar of Companies," he told Bernama here on Monday.

TFM, estabilished in 2009, is an NGO comprising Malaysian Indian professionals, aimed at providing humanitarian assistance to displaced people, among others.

Dr Iyngkaran, who is a paediatrician by profession, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had approved the allocation early last month.

"The government responded positively in approving the fund within weeks, after acknowledging our relief works in north-east Sri Lanka, especially in the Vanni, Mullai Thivu and Batticaloa areas," he added.

He said TFM was involved in relief works, soon after the conflict ended, with some funds raised from three dinners organised by the forum.

"Initially, we and some other NGOs from Malaysia had provided food and other basic needs, but more than three years after the conflict ended, we looking at income-generating programmes, including farming and proper education for the children," disclosed Dr Iyngkaran.

He said a one-year strategy plan had already been identified and TFM would be engaging with five NGOs approved by the Sri Lankan President's Task Force on Relief Works in finalising the programmes and areas which needed immediate attention.

Dr Iyngkaran also pointed out that TFM would engage with other NGOs from Malaysia and Sri Lanka to ensure all aids and programmes reached the targeted groups.

"Our assistance is purely for displaced people directly affected by the conflict," he said.

The United Nations estimates about 100,000 people died during Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict between 1972 and 2009. - Bernama

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