Sunday, October 09, 2005

Visiting TAFREN

Rajan Philips and myself visited TAFREN (Task Force for the Reconstruction of the Nation) in early September - the task force that was appointed by the President to control reconstruction after the tsunami - we had an appointment with the Chair Ms. Rohini Nanayakkara.

TAFREN is in Colombo and its not easily accesible to the Tsunami affected. Getting to TAFREN is not easy even with an appointment - we have to go through three security barriers that had been set up for the Presidents residence - TAFREN neigbours it. It was only our appointment that enabled us access. We were called to our meeting - we noticed that the officers of TAFREN were quite young - and the lingua franca was in English - perhaps, this agency was oriented towards meetings with foreigners - and indeed, we were almost that - having come from Canada and US. Ms. Nanayakkara let us know that all TAFREN does was that it coordinates the activities of the othere agencies and that it is an extremely limited role that it plays. She may have thought that we were representing business interests. I asked her as to whether there was opportunity to volunteer services and she said that wew could send in a CV. Rajan has much technical expertise in reconstruction and wanted to contribute but there was no technical expertise on the Reconstruction Task Force. My background did elicit interest but it was in the broad field of environment for which there is there far better experts in Sri Lanka.