» 12/28/2009, 00.00
Tamil Nadu: After five years, the tsunami is still taking its toll on victims
The tragedy of 2004 is still weighing heavily on widows, orphans and small fishermen. Father Santhanam, a priest and lawyer, describes the work that is being done in favour of the coastal people in Kanyakumari district. He also talks about broken promises and NGOs that are no longer present in the field. The area’s Catholic communities find hope in their faith.
For Indian Tamils genocide is underway in Sri Lanka
People in Tamil Nadu accuse the Sri Lankan government of slaughtering minority Tamils in northern Sri Lanka. Photos showing massacred women and children are being circulated among India’s Tamils. A protest rally is scheduled for 29 April in front of India’s parliament in New Delhi to demand the government put pressure on Sri Lanka to stop the fighting and the violence on civilians.
In the diocese of Pondicherry-Cuddalore, 76 boats go back to sea after the tsunami
In Tamil Nadu, the Church is committed to reconstruction. For Archbishop Augustine, bringing trust and hope to the victims is the most important mission. Permanent housing is needed but the state government is not allocating building permits even though the monsoon season is near.
Politicians take advantage of post-tsunami problems in electoral campaign
Four months after the tsunami, reconstruction is making little progress. Electoral interests and corruption are slowing down fund distribution. The state is handing out funds that belong to others.
Church encourages tsunami-affected fishermen to go back to the sea
Bishop of Kottar visits coastal parishes by sea. The Archbishop of Pondicherry hands new boats over to fishermen so they can go back out to sea and fish.
10/07/2009 INDIA – SRI LANKA
India to allocate 5 billion rupees for Sri Lanka refugees
New Delhi adds refugee emergency to its 2009-2010 budget. Father Santhanam, a Jesuit priest and human rights lawyer in Tamil Nadu, fears money might be India’s way to have a “clean conscience” and reiterate its “hegemony over the island.” The problem is that “Sri Lanka does not have any real plan to rehabilitate war refugees.”
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