The damage caused by the April 12 violence in Trincomalee town has been estimated at over 150 million rupees, a report made by the Chamber of Commerce and Industries of Trincomalee District (CCITD) revealed.
Thirty two business establishments had been affected by the violence.
The affected businesses include grocery, textile, electrical, hardware, building material and jewellery shops, hotels, hairdressing saloons and communication centres.
The report said stocks worth Rs. 90 million had been destroyed and damage caused to vehicles had been estimated at a little over Rs. 3 million, totalling Rs. 93 million.
Losses from direct business had been estimated at around Rs. 33 million, damages caused to buildings at Rs. 21 million and houses at Rs. 5 million.
The report did not include the damage caused to the Hatton National Bank (HNB) Trincomalee main branch and fuel pumps and offices of the Trincomalee MPCS, which also had been affected by the violence.
According to HNB Northern Regional Manager A.V. Beadle, the bank needed about one million rupees to repair the damaged building. Vehicles and motorcycles of bank officers and workers had also been burnt and damaged. These damages had been estimated around Rs. 2.5 million, he said.
On the instructions of Investment Promotion and National Enterprise Development Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, following his earlier visit to Trincomalee and discussions held with the representatives of the CCITD, the SME Bank had decided to open its first branch in Trincomalee town on the first floor of the newly constructed three storied building in front of the central bus stand on April 8. The SME bank was to assist small and medium entrepreneurs in the town to develop their business activities and facilitate them to export local products direct from Trincomalee itself.
The opening of the branch was put off following the killing of Trincomalee District Peoples Forum president V. Vigneswaran on April 7. Thereafter Trincomalee town witnessed violence which followed the bomb explosion on April 12.
?Unfortunately we are here not to open the SME Bank branch but to assess the damage caused to the businesses and provide soft loan facilities to affected traders to revive their business activities as early as possible,? said SME Bank credit department head Shelton Gamage, addressing a gathering of affected traders - 23 Tamil and 9 Muslim - in the Trincomalee office of CCITD on April 18.
Entrepreneurs unit head of SME Bank Rahul Senanayake also accompanied him
?You would be provided with loan facilities from R. 100,000 to Rs. 1 million with an interest of 4 % per annum for three years. You would be given a grace period to settle the loan,? Mr. Gamage told traders who lost their businesses in the violence.
CCITD chairman R. Rajarammohan handed over the report to Mr. Gamage detailing the loss incurred by the businessmen in the violence.
Mr. Rajarammohan who is the Unilever distributor in the Trincomalee district suffered a heavy loss in his business with his stores completely burnt down along with his four lorries and a new car.