Friday, October 27, 2006

CASP Leads Handloom Industry Meeting

With a view to developing the handloom industry in Ampara District, which was badly affected by both the policies of successive governments and the 2004 tsunami, CASP President Douglas MacArthur held a meeting on Wednesday, October 18th at CASP's Kalmunai office to which many people involved in the handloom industry were invited.

More than fifty men and women involved in the handloom industry, from both the Muslim and Tamil communities, were in attendance. Participants were asked for suggestions about how to further develop the handloom industry in the district. Mr. MacArthur said that the participants provided some great input and thought the meeting was very successful.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Master Plan Preliminary Report Presentation

The Ampara District Master Plan Preliminary Report has been posted.You can view the presentation in your browser by clicking here.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Computer Resource Centers in Akkaraipattu

The two Computer Resource Centres in the purview of the Akkaraipattu Zonal Education Office that were affected by the tsunami will be reconstructed with modern equipment funded by the OTI Sri Lanka Program of USAID. These centres are to be housed on the sites of Akkaraipattu ZDE’s Office and Thirukkovil DEO’s Office at a cost of about Rs.15 million. They will provide knowledge to those who wish to develop their computer literacy, especially people who are finished school and are having difficulty finding jobs. Computer training, an Internet Cafe, and other facilities will be made available here for those involved in the courses.

A simple ceremony was presided over by Zonal Director of Education ULM Hashim to mark the foundation stone for the Akkaraipoattu Computer Resource Centre. The event was attended by USAID’ s Regional Program Manager Bill Barkle, Grant Specialist Ruwan Fernando, Senior Assistant Secretary to the NEP Ministry of Education T.Ponnambalam, the Officer in-charge of the Computer Centre M.A.Uthumalebbe, and several others.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Forestry Programme for Tsunami-Affected Areas

A Forestry Programme for early rehabilitation of tsunami affected areas in Ampara District is to be implemented by the Forest Department. The programme is sponsored by the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation) with the financial support of the Government of Finland. The Project National Field Officer is MA Ibnu Suhood.

The project has five components and has been earmarked for nineteen sites in nine DS Divisions. The components are:
  • Coastal shelterbelt development
  • Mangrove rehabilitation
  • Home garden development
  • Avenue planting
  • Urban planting
The project’s objective is to address the immediate needs of the affected populations through forest rehabilitation and reforestation. This will provide forestry-related employment and related benefits, as well as contributing to a safer future for people living in the area through increased coastal protection and an improved environment.

A meeting to discuss the project was held at Athaullah Arangam Mr. Ibnu Suhood.
Invitees were invited to express their ideas on how best to implement the project and included Additional Government Agent ULA Azees, Deputy Director Planning AA Bawa, Assistant Commissioner of Local Government Peer Mohamed, Central Environmental Authority’s Assistant Director-Ampara M.A.C.Najeeb, Divisional Secretaries, Predeshya Saba Chairmen, and others. All parties agreed to extend their fullest support to complete this programme at the earliest possible date.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Gramodaya Health Centers in Kalmunai Division

Gramodaya Health Centers are now being opened in the remote areas of the Kalmunai DPDHs Divisions where health facilities are greatly needed.

With the financial support of INGOs serving in the District, including Celltel Lanka (Pvt) Ltd., UNICEFF, NECORD, Mercy Malasia, World Vision, HSDP (Health Services Development Project), Doctors Worldwide, and IMC (International Medical Corps), twenty-seven Gramodaya Health Centers are to be opened. These will be situated in the Medical Officers of Health Divisions in Kalmunai, Sainthamaruthu, Nintavur, Karaithivu, Addalaichenai, Akkaraipattu, Alayadivembu , Thirukkovil, and Pottuvil.

At the Kathiriya Mosque, the 10th Gramodaya Health Centre of Akkaraipattu MOH Division was declared open in ceremonies by the Consultant for Health Care Development, North Eastern Province, Dr. V. Jegenathan. A plaque was unveiled by Dr.A.L.M.Nazeer and Gramodaya Health Centre Project Manager Olita Gunaratne.

Speaking at the ceremony chaired by MOH Akkaraipattu Dr. AM Jahufar, Consultant for Health Care Development Dr. Jegenathan said that he was happy to open this centre in such a good location and hoped that it would provide better services for the needy who come from the poorer parts of society. He also thanked Celltel Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. for coming forward to construct the building and asked the villagers in the vicinity to extend their fullest support to the staff in providing their services.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Environment Week for all Sri Lankans

His Excellency, President Mahinda Rajapakse, declared the first week of October as Environment Week in Sri Lanka, and asked all Sri Lankans to observe it island-wide. Various functions were held to mark this week in many parts of Sri Lanka, including Ampara District.

CASP, together with EOD (Eastern Organisation for Democracy), put together a programme to commemorate the occasion in Central Camp, where all three major Sri Lankan communities live together (Tamil, Muslim, and Sinhalese). EOD President, Ranaweera Nilame, believes deeply in the coexistence of Sri Lanka's ethnic communities and was very pleased to organise this function at the EOD Office in Central Camp.

Mr. MAC Najeeb, Assistant Director of the National Environment Authority, was the Chief Guest, and the Agricultural Instructor of the area together with the Head of the Central Camp Police station were also invited. The President of EOD, the Chief Guest, invitees, and staff from CASP's Kalmunai and Akkaraipattu offices planted trees there for this occasion. They also distributed plants among the people of the three ethnic communities living here.

New MOH Office for Pottuvil!

Pottuvil MOH Office, which has hitherto been functioning in a private building with minimum facilities, has now been provided with a new building with all amenities.

The new MOH Office and its quarters, costing Rs.50 million set apart by Italian Corporation and implemented by Movimondo, was declared open by Ambassador for Itali Pio Mariani on Monday, October 9th in a grand ceremony organized by the Staff of the MOH Office, headed by MOH Dr. MMM. Sameem. A special religious ceremony was also organised to mark the occasion.

The Ambassador, along with the Deputy Provincial Director of Health Services – Kalmunai Dr.A.L.M. Nazeer, Head of Italian Corporation Gian Pietro Testolin, the Head of Project Movimondo, and Medical Officers of the Division, were taken on a huge procession, while flanked by a school band, to the venue of the meeting: the new MOH Office building.

Speaking at this ceremony, Ambassador Pio Mariani said he was happy to help with an outstanding problem in Pottuvil. He also said that he looked forward to contributing other assistance in the future and hoped this would further strengthen the friendship between Sri Lanka and Italy.

DPDH Dr. Nazeer subsequently thanked the Ambassador, Italian Corporation, and Movimondo for helping the people of Pottuvil.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Ramadan Food Distribution by Islamic Relief

The Islamic Relief organisation is distributing food parcels among widows, the poor, and the needy as part of its Ramadan Food Distribution - 2006 programme. Mission Head Mohamed Ahamed Mao of Islamic Relief commenced the distribution at a function held at the organisation’s stores in Nintavur on October 5th.

Ms. Mufeeda Usman, Islamic Relief Programme Coordinator, explained that the recipients were selected from all communities living in the Divisional Secretariat areas of Kalmunai, Sainthamaruthu, Karaitivu, Nintavur, Addalaichchenai, Akkaraipattu, Aalayadivembu, Sammanthurai, Navithanveli, and Irakkamam.

"3,500 genuine people were selected to receive the 3,500 parcels - each worth Rs. 1,600 and containing rice, flour, milk powder, dates, fish tins, and sugar. All the selections of recipients were made by officers working in the respective
DS offices" she said.