HELPING HAND:Government provides assistance to Tamil Forum Malaysia for its humanitarian work in Sri Lanka
THE Malaysian government has given US$1 million (RM 3.2 million) to Tamil Forum Malaysia (TFM).
The contribution will go towards helping 1,700 widows and orphans in Sri Lanka who lost their loved ones during the civil war which lasted more than 25 years.
Deputy Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk M. Saravanan said he hoped that the donation would be the starting point of a relationship between the government and TFM.
"TFM has been helping Sri Lankan Tamils for a long time and this contribution is an acknowledgement of their work all this time.
"I have to admit that the amount is small, considering that it is to help 1,700 families, but I believe it is a good start," he said.
He encouraged TFM to submit progress reports to the government to create a better relationship and trust so that the government could do more for its cause.
TFM is a coalition of 40 non-governmental organisations that aims to empower widows, single mothers, orphans and physically disabled who were affected by the war.
One of TFM's directors, S.P. Pathi, said the organisation had helped to set up micro businesses and train the 1,700 identified victims to lead normal lives.
"We want to help to reduce the financial burden of single mothers so that they can better support their families," he said.
"We will be sending our volunteers there and work with the United Nations and Sri Lankan NGOs to facilitate this programme," Saravanan added.
The organisation thanked the government for its help and hoped to receive more help in the future to better the lives of the Sri Lankan Tamils.