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Srikanth Kolari | Artist’s Statements

The Tsunami Coast

The tribunal, organized by a coalition of local groups and people’s movements, examined the performance of the Indian government in relation to housing, land and livelihoods. The jury, chaired by Justice Suresh, former judge of the Mumbai High Court, asserted that the Central government, as well as the state governments of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and the union territories of Pondicherry and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, have failed in their legal and moral responsibility to provide adequate rehabilitation, and have violated both their national and international legal commitments. The jury noted the slow pace of rehabilitation and the severe delays in providing permanent housing and restoring livelihoods of tsunami survivors with alarm.

Among its recommendations, the jury called for the following:

• The need to uphold and protect the right to adequate rehabilitation and the right to disaster prevention as human rights.
• Adequate livelihood restoration for fishing and non-fishing communities, including agricultural communities and women.
• Immediate halt to all evictions of all dalits, fish workers, tribals, and other marginalised groups living along the coast.
• Immediate implementation of Supreme Court interim orders and CAG recommendations related to the tsunami.
• Urgent provision of basic facilities (water, sanitation, electricity, health services, education, transport) in all resettlement sites.
• Non-discrimination in all phases of rehabilitation and reconstruction, and the need to especially protect the
human rights of women, children, dalits, tribals, persons with disabilities, and older persons.
• Development of a comprehensive and community-oriented post-disaster policy, including for housing, that is based on international human rights standards.
• Need to develop effective accountability, monitoring and grievance redressal mechanisms.

An excerpt from a report of the people’s tribunal organised in Chennai on 18 and 19 December 2021 organised in Chennai on 18 and 19 December 2021