on Halo Trust: full report awaited
By Frances Bulathsinghala
European Union officials yesterday said the EU head office in Brussels
was awaiting the full report on the investigations launched into
the attack on the British NGO based in Jaffna last Thursday.
Friday the EU head office in Brussels had been informed by the EU
Commission in Colombo of the act of vandalism perpetrated on the
Halo Trust. The organisation which deals with mine clearing was
initially estimated to have suffered a loss of US dollars 1.2 billion
when masked men attacked the office and damaged over 34 vehicles
belonging to the organisation last Thursday. However Halo Trust
officials said on Friday that the loss was only US dollars 50,000.
bulk of the financial assistance for the program comes from the
EU. The organisation which has been based in Jaffna since June 2002
has removed over 25,000 mines from the Jaffna region. Over two hundred
persons have been employed by the organisation for mine clearing
have received communication from Brussels informing us that further
information with regard to the attack is being awaited. We, in turn,
are waiting for the investigations here to be completed so that
we could provide complete details", an EU spokesperson said
on Friday adding that no formal statement regarding the incident
had yet been released from Brussels yet.
a representative from the Halo Trust office in Colombo, Roy Anver
said his office had been informed that the LTTE was conducting separate
inquiries regarding the attack as LTTE members are alleged to have
been involved in the attack. Police and military investigations
into the incident too have commenced.
Halo Trust has always kept a neutral stand and has been transparent
about its activities. It is difficult to believe that there were
those unhappy with the work of the organisation", a release
from the organisation said.
sources from Jaffna state that the reason behind the surprise attack
could be dissatisfaction among the local staff about the salaries
paid to them.