Saturday, March 31, 2007

Pottuvil Fisheries LAC Meeting televised [Rupavahini Eye Channel]

Rupavahini Eye Channel, 28 March 2007

CASP-related Tamil language newscast of local advisory committee meeting in Pottuvil Fisheries Inspector's Office on fisheries sector issues.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Gender Awareness for University Staff

CASP’s Centre for Gender Studies, located at South Eastern University in Ampara District, hosted a gender awareness programme for University staff at the Oluvil Campus Auditorium on Thursday, March 26, 2007.

Dr. Anuszia Senathirajah, a lecturer at the Oluvil Campus and CASP's Gender Manager, organised and conducted this programme. She explained to the audience the purpose of setting up the Centre at the Oluvil Campus, the programmes to be carried out, and the challenges facing the Centre in addressing women’s issues.

A.G. Husain Ismail, Vice Chancellor of the University, and Victor Petrescu, CASP Project Coordinator, were also present and addressed the audience. The Vice Chancellor stressed the importance of finding a solution for women’s issues and thanked CASP for setting up the Centre for Gender Studies.

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

Goods Exhibition for International Women’s Day

Above: Dr. Anuszia Senathirajah & M.M. Razeen of CASP with the members of the Affected Women's Forum and their painted potteries.

The Affected Women's Forum of Akkaraipattu celebrated International Women’s Day at a ceremony held in the Cultural Hall of the Alayadivembu Pradeshiya Sabah on March 18, 2007.

The highlight of the celebration was the exhibition of goods produced by the tsunami-affected women of Alayadivembu in Ampara District. These included various food items, potteries, aluminium fittings, paintings, plants, and masonry goods created by the affected women of this area.

All the products were price-marked and sold to those in attendance. The organisers said that the exhibition was very successful and that most of the goods were sold to the people who visited this exhibition.
Above: More items made by the tsunami-affected women.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Project News Covered Externally (Feb/Mar)

CASP's Rebuild Ampara efforts have been getting a great deal of press in the past couple of months. Below you will find a list of some of the articles published in non-English papers in Sri Lanka (and therefore difficult to reproduce here) in February and early March of this year:
  • 03 Mar 07 - Sudar Oli Tamil Daily (page 6) - "Reception accorded to Hon. Minister Ferial Ashraff at Maruthamunai by Maruthamunai Development Company (Peoples) Ltd."
  • 27 Feb 07 - Thinakaran (page 9) - "Long term plan will be drawn to develop Ampara District says Minister Ferial Ashraff"
  • 21 Feb 07 - Thinakaran (page 8) - "Kilo of potatoes sells at Rs. 1500 in auction - Minister Ferial makes farmers of Akkaraipuattu happy"
  • 21 Feb 07 - Lankadeepa Sinhala Daily (page 5) - "Minister Ashraff has potatoes at Rs. 1500 per kilo"
  • 19 Feb 07 - Thinakaran (page 8) - "Minister Ferial inaugurates several development programmes in Ampara District"
  • 19 Feb 07 - Thinakkural (page 12) - "Today in Ampara"
  • 19 Feb 07 - Thinakaran (page 2) - "Computer Training Centre at Akkaraipattu"
  • 18 Feb 07 - Thinakaran (page 2) - "Potato Cultivation success in Ampara"
  • 02 Feb 07 - Virakesari (page 20) - "Actions being taken to modernise Handloom Industry for Maruthamunai announces Minister Ferial"
Scans of these articles are available in their language of origin for any interested parties through the contact information on our website.

CASP celebrates International Women's Day

The Canadian Agro-Sustainability Partnership (CASP) celebrated International Women’s Day on a grand scale at its main office in Ampara on March 8, 2007. The Urban Council Chairman, Sarath Desapriya, was the Chief Guest at this function where the Divisional Secretaries and the Director of Planning for Ampara District, A.A. Bawa, were also present.

CASP honoured fifteen women, five from each of the three ethnic groups living in Ampara District, who had rendered outstanding services to the public in various ways.

The Chief Guest, together with the Divisional Secretaries, presented the selected women with certificates and prizes. CASP’s Director of Finance and Administration, M.M. Razeen, presided over the event and thanked everyone for participating the celebrations.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

USAID Constructs Libraries

USAID Regional Programme Manager Bill Barkle recently laid the foundation stone for a library construction project at Alayadivembu in Akkaraipattu. The project is funded by USAID at a cost of Rs. 23.5 million and is being implemented by the Alayadivembu Pradeshiya Sabah.

The USAID/OTI grant supports war- and tsunami-affected communities within the Alayadivembu Pradeshiya Sabah in Akkaraipattu town.

The ceremony was presided over by the Pradeshiya Sabah Chairman, S. Aanaikutty. Assistant Commissioner - Local Government, A.L. Ishak, Divisional Secretary, S. Karan, and Ampara District Coordinator of the Asia Foundation, M.I.M. Waleeth, were also present.

Programme Manager Barkle said that USAID will also begin another library construction project in the Akkaraipattu Pradeshiya Sabha area and that they hoped to lay the foundation stone shortly.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Merlin Opens Central Dispensary

The UK NGO Merlin opened the first health centre it has constructed in Ampara District on Saturday, March 3rd. Built in Periyaneelavanai, this central dispensary will open its doors to provide access to much needed curative services and health care for 6,500 local residents, including tsunami survivors in the nearby displacement camps.

The dispensary was constructed at a cost of 100,000/- Sterling Pounds and replaces a previous structure constructed by NECORD that had opened just four days prior to 2004 tsunami before being destroyed. The local community donated the land for the new facility through the Patchchi Amman Hindu Kovil in January 2005.

After cutting the ribbon in the opening ceremonies, Dr. Jaganathan (Consultant - Ministry of Health for the Eastern Province) thanked Merlin for having come forward to build the centre and asked for the NGO's assistance in constructing an attached ward as well. He also thanked the trustees of the Hindu Kovil and the individual who donated some of the lands personally. Dr. Jaganathan expressed great happiness at the fact that, at a time when brothers fight even for an inch of land, an individual has willingly donated their own land for public use.

In addition to other Merlin staff, the organisation's country director, Michelle Brown, and Project Coordinator, Penny Boddington, were present at the opening, as were A.L.M. Nazeer (DPDHS), Health Department officials, doctors, and others.Above: Dr. V. Jeganathan - Consultant of the Ministry of Health for the Eastern Province (left with garland) is seen along with Dr. A.L.M. Nazeer - Deputy Provincial Director of Health (2nd from left), Penny Boddington - Merlin Project Coordinator (2nd from right), and Dr. Chatura Jayakody of Central Dispensary, Periyaneelavanai (far right).

Monday, March 05, 2007

Peace Programme for Schoolchildren

On Saturday, March 3rd, the Foundation for Coexistence (FCE) held an event for the war- and tsunami-affected children of the District at Hardy Technical College in Ampara. The function was presided over by I.M. Ibrahim, District Coordinator for the Foundation for Coexistence, and the programme of focus, 'Listen to their Voices', was funded by UNICEF and implemented by the FCE in Ampara.More than 300 children from the Muslim, Tamil, and Sinhalese communities in Nintavur, Karaitivu, Gonagala, and Galpitigala participated in the programme. Project Directors Ravi Bandu and Arunthathi Sriranganathan of UNICEF were the Chief Guests in this effort to further foster coexistence among schoolchildren of different ethnicities.

Participants expressed confidence that more programmes of this nature could help with understanding and coexistence among the various communities living in the District.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Computer and English, key subjects to develop one's knowledge [Daily News]

Daily News, Friday 2 March 2007
by M.A. Phakurdeen - Addalaichenai Group Correspondent
ADDALAICHENAI: "Every one of us should be competent in Computer and English and those who are not conversant in this field are considered as misfits in this modern world. Hence, every one of us, especially the younger generation, should come forward to learn these two subjects and CASP (Canadian Agro-Sustainability Partnership) has opened its doors for you all to develop your knowledge. This is a rare opportunity and you all must make use of this in a profitable way."

So observed Minister of Housing and Common Amenities Ferial Ashraff after opening CASP's Computer and Training Centre at Akkaraipattu recently.

Minister Ferial Ashraff was in Ampara District last week on the invitation of CASP's President Douglas MacArthur to inaugurate several development programmes launched by CASP in Ampara District.

The Canadian High Commission's First Secretary (Development) Calvin R. Piggott, Secretary to the Minister Mallika Karunaratna, Special Advisor to the Minister A. Sulaima Lebbe, and CIDA officials too accompanied the Minister.

The Minister in her address said that she doesn't believe in ceremonies and functions merely for publicity and glory but for constructive services lasting forever. She said may INGOs have come and now they have gone, but unlike other NGOs CASP determined to develop Ampara District with the consultation of her Ministry with a Master Plan to be prepared in consultation with all sections of the people of the district.

They believe in services lasting forever or in other words we can say sustainability is their main concern.

She also noted that when she comes to this area she would come with some positive move and she was happy to come here with a Computer and Training Centre which is a desperate need to the area.

She thanked Douglas MacArthur for coming forward to establish this Centre in Akkaraipattu.

President CASP Douglas MacArthur, First Secretary to the Canadian High Commission Calvin R. Piggott, Manager of the Centre M.A.S. Deen, and several others also spoke.

It is informed that this Centre has been developed as part of the Ampara District Master Plan.

Its primary purpose is to provide much needed Computer Access to school leavers, job seeking adults, employees in Government, and private sector organizations, and all others who would like to have access to the Internet and/or learn and improve their computer and English Language skills.