Friday, September 26, 2014

Handing over a petition to the politicians

A petition highlighting the issues of the fisheries sector, issues of women headed families and the basic issues which should be solved immediately in  15 villages was handed over the Assistance District Secretary , Fisheries Minister of Northern Province and the President of Urban Counci in Mannar on 24 September 2014. The representatives of the citizen forum in Musali, committee of  women headed families related to National Fisheries Solidarity Movement, citizen and Northern Province Fisher People Unity participated to the campaign.

More than 100 participants consisting of fisherman and women coming  from above sectors  participated to the event. Campaigners marched to the town of Mannar from the district office of National Fisheries Solidarity Movement displaying the banners to hand over the petition.

The Assistance District Secretary agreed to be concerned this petition to the District Secretary and she concerned to convene a meeting on fisheries issues. The Assistance District Secretary mentioned to direct those issues to the women officer in the divisional secretariat office to further process. 

Accepting the petition, the Fisheries Minister of Northern Province explained what they have planned to implement for the people  in future. He promised to solve the unemployment issues of  the women headed families especially in Pallimune and Thottaweli as well as he requested from National Fisheries Solidarity Movement to develop a plan on that purpose. The Fisheries Minister hopes to function through the district committees which were established by him to solve the issues of fisheries sector in district level. 

The president and the vice president of the Urban Council requested to be concerned the issues of the divisional secretariat domain for the Urban Council. They hope to convene a discussion inviting to the representatives in regional level soon.
Some unidentified group always resorted behind the people and the activators when the people were marching to the town and handing over the petition. They took photos and videos of the participants even some participants had questioned by them. The representatives informed to the police about this incident. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Meeting with the Vice President of Urban Council in Mannar

The citizen forum members had an opportunity to meet and discuss with Mr. G. Jesudasan who is the Vice President of the Urban Council in Mannar on 22 of August 2014 . The meeting was organized by the citizen forum  in the Center of Fisheries Solidarity Movement in Mannar. A sensational discussion could be seen between the Vice President of the Urban Council and the citizen forum. People are facing different kind of issues in the village but the Urban Council has failed address to all problems of the people as the responsible institute of the domain. Therefore, the citizen forum members concrened a lot of issues they face in their villages.

The representatives from Pallimune, Shanthipuram, Gimron Nagar, Geevapuram and Uppukulam explained the issues of them in village level. The representative of the Pallimune concerned the major issues of sea erosion, common transportation and decayed condition of the internal roads in the village. The members of Shanthipuram explained their issues such as discomfort condition of the roads, about not having  side channels of the roads and not having street lamps of the road. They mentioned that 20 years has pasted after building the village but authorities have failed to provide better servicers for the village.  Issues of some internal roads and flood issues are the main problem of the Uppukulam. 

The member of the Geevapuram explained the situation of the village blaming to the Urban Council. He blamed that although the President of the Urban Council came to the village to observe the situation, he did not at least get down from the vehicle to observe the real situation of the village. According to him, the villagers face a lot of issues such as poor condition of the roads, not having a common place to have even a meeting and not having proper access ways connecting with neighboring villages. Because of that people have to use outside ways access to other villages. They have to spend more time for that. It has some ways but people are unable to use those because those roads are ineligible for use. The Urban Council planned collaborating with the department of resettlement to develop above access ways but the plan is on the table yet. Not having drinking water is one of the burning issues. The children have not a preschool.  The electricity facilities should be supplied to some areas of the village. 

The main issues of the people in Gimron Nagar  are flood and  bad condition of the roads. When are the rainy seasons, people are unable to use the roads. The roads should be filled up. People have handed over a petition about this issue to the Urban Council but they did not have any response yet. Even Grama Niladari does not come to the village in the rainy season. 

The member of Geevapuram explained the major issues they face in the village. He explained that the flood influences to the people. People are difficult to use two major roads when it has flood. People have one Km to reach to the main road but it is very difficult to use that way. There were some ways but some people have captured those roads. Three ways have been released but there are some ways to be released. The channels of the roads should be developed. There is no proper mechanism of the Urban Council to collect the garbage. 

Mr. G.Jesudasan who is the Vice President of the Urban Council explained the existing situation to fulfill the service of the people as the Urban Council. According to him, there are 30,000 people of 5500 families in the Urban Council domain. There are 15 Grama Sevaka divisions in 24 villages as well as there are 1400 Kilo Meters of all roads and there are 700 KM of only internal roads in the Urban Council domain. If somebody blames to the Urban Council saying that they did not do anything for the people, we are unable to accept that because the Urban Council has to concern about 24 villages. Although the government provided resource to some Urban Council the government did not provide reasonable resource to our council. The Urban Council develops an international ground spending 4 Millions. We have allocated 10 Million against the sea erosion. The Urban Council will have 5.4 Million to develop the internal roads. The Urban Council has submitted a project to UNISCO. That is a long turn project of 4 years. It has been hold by the Government but we believe that that project will be released by the government to the Urban Council. Then, we will be able to solve 90 percent problems related to the flood and channels of the roads. The Urban Council maintains 1500 street lamps.

The Urban Council concerns to provide better service to the people, the vice president mentioned finally. 

People are concerning how the Urban Council is going to fulfill the service of the people in the area. The citizen forum always keeps a constructive link with the Urban Council to be sold the problems of the people.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Focus group discussion in Kondachchikda, Musali

The focus group meeting related to the citizen forum process was organized in Kondachchikuda, Musali local government domain in Mannar district on 23rd of August 2014. The program coordinator, district coordinator, animators and committee leader participated to the meeting. There was a reasonable participation of the citizens in village level. 

This process was restarted because of requesting the citizen forum. The citizen forum concerned to conduct focus group meeting in each village properly. The focus group discussions are very useful to aware and organize people base on the citizen forum. The citizen forum decided to hold focus group meeting in every month. 

It emphasized about the important of strengthening the citizen forum process on making sure the citizen  rights. Participants intervened to the discussion explaining the burning issues they are facing in the existing situation. According to the members of focus group members, land grabbing is the most important issue of the people. The members agreed to engage with the citizen forum process properly. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Citizen Forum met the President of Pradeshiya Sabha

Representatives of the citizen forum met the president of the Pradeshiya Sabha at his office in Town and Gravest, Trincomalee on 29th of May 2014. The president of Citizen Forum and some members as well as district coordinator and program coordinator took part to the meeting. The representatives discussed about the progress of implementing the proposals which were handed over the annual budget of the Pradeshiya sabha for 2014. 
The citizen forum organized a meeting to hand over the people’s proposal for the budget of 2014. This was a follow up meeting with the president of Pradeshiya Sabha. He explained the existing situation of implementing the budget proposals. The citizen forum handed over another petition related to some infrastructure building in Mahamayapura. The president of PS encouraged the citizen forum to visit the  Pradeshiya Sabha on people’s issues every month. He agreed to give priority for the proposals we concerned of preparing the annual budget.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

North and East provincials joint convention to get peoples’ proposals for the national budget

National fisheries solidarity movement as a partner of active citizenship for development network (ACDN) organized a provincials convention to get peoples’ proposal for the national budget at Sun Shine Hotel in Trincomalee on 26 of June 2012. A network has been formed consisting of four organizations such as Uva Community Development Center (UCDC) Baddula , Low and Society Trust (LST) Colombo, Center for Society and Religion (CSR) Colombo and National Fisheries Solidarity Movement (NAFSO) Negombo.
 All four organizations are working with different communities in different districts on active citizenship for development network in the country. This right based project is called Participatory Budget Monitoring program. The main goal of this project is to increase engagement of communities in decision-making process about development budget at local level, provincial level and national level, in order to ensure their socio- economic rights.

This project is mainly based on 16 local governments in nine districts such as Colombo, Kalutara, Badulla, Kegalle, Monaragala, Ampara, Jaffna, Trincomalee and Mannar districts in the country. National Fisheries Solidarity Movement as a partner of active citizenship for development network has responsibility to implement this project in the North and East covering Jaffna, Mannar, Ampara and Trincomalee districts. We have developed citizen forums indentifying 25 community leaders in four districts. Citizen forum is the major component of this program.

The North and East provincials’ joint convention was organized by National Fisheries Solidarity Movement to provide an opportunity especially for the North and East peoples to submit their proposals for the national budget because the budget proposals are called from peoples, CBOs and other sectors by the government to prepare the national budget of 2013. ACDN is trying to submit proposals, which were collected from the peoples organizing provincial conventions to the national budget. Members of citizen forums in Jaffna, Mannar, Ampara and Trincomalee districts’ peoples participated to the convention. They were the key players of the convention because they intervened to build their proposals representing the North and East people. Other representatives of network partners LST, CSR and UCDC took part to succeed the program. Some members of local government, government officials, CBOs leaders and other organizations representatives involved this.

This was organized as a workshop. There were more than 130 participants for the convention. We used this convention not only get budget proposals but also to aware the peoples. We organized awareness programs in the morning session on many issues. OfERR organization (Ceylon) shared their experience on Non-state actors in development project as like mined organization. Participations were educated on different issues such as citizen rights and role, social justification and national budget. Network partners shared their experience on this project in different level.