India’s Consulate General in Jaffna is not in a position to receive financial assistance directly from the Northern Provincial Council’s Assembly Secretariat, which is mobilising funds for rain-battered Tamil Nadu. This is because the Indian government has not made any appeal for foreign aid in connection with floods in Tamil Nadu, A.Natarajan, Consul General, says.

Special case

On Monday, Kandiya Sivagnanam, Chairman of the Council, met Mr Natarajan and urged him to relax the Indian authorities’ position as the Northern Provincial Council’s move, according to Mr. Sivagnanam, should be viewed as a special case.

The Consul General, who appreciated members of the Council for their gesture, assured him that Mr. Sivagnanam’s request be examined.

Under the present circumstances, those keen on sending the assistance are advised to route it through any credible non-governmental organisation, the diplomat says, suggesting that Sri Lanka’s Deputy High Commission in Chennai be also consulted at the time of anyone in Sri Lanka planning to send aid.

The position of the Indian authorities has also been conveyed to Chief Minister of the Northern Province C.V.Wigneswaran, Mr. Natarajan adds.

However, Mr. Sivagnanam, Chairman of the Council, who met Mr. Natarajan on Monday, says he is hopeful of the Indian authorities eventually agreeing to accept the Northern Provincial Council’s assistance.

As of now, Mr. Sivagnanam has no plan to get in touch with any NGO.

On the Council’s move, he points out that two Sinhalese councillors are among those who have come forward to make their contributions.

“As a mark of sentimental and moral obligation on our part, we have decided to set up a fund,” he explains, adding that a bank account has been opened exclusively for the purpose.

Till December 21, the account will be kept open, Mr. Sivagnanam says. (The Hindu)