Ample food stocks in Wanni
Dispatches done one month ahead, says Essential
COLOMBO: The Government yesterday allayed fears of an imminent
food shortage in the Wanni as the re-opening of the only entry-exit
points at Omanthai and Uliyankulam was delayed further.
Essential Services Commissioner S.B.Divarathne told the Daily News
that he was not aware of any imminent food shortage in the area, as the
Government had sent enough stocks of food and medicine on schedule.
According to Divarathne, the Government has been sending food stocks
one month ahead to address any crisis situation and this had been the
practice since this January. He said he had not received any report from
the Civil administrators in the area about a food shortage and added
that his department was geared to handle any crisis situation.
The Commissioner agreed that a prolonged delay would inevitably lead
to a shortage and added that this sort of tactics by the LTTE would only
increase the hardships of an already overburdened civilian population.
Colonel Gamini Nanayakkara, the Co-ordinating officer for Civil
Administration in the Vavuniya region, also refuted claims of an
imminent food shortage.
Colonel Nanayakkara said talks were continuing with the ICRC to sort
out the matter. Talks were scheduled yesterday but the outcome was not
known at the time of going to press.
According to the Colonel, the LTTE is forcibly keeping away civilians
from using the exit point, even for emergency requirements. The LTTE had
turned away two civilians who had arrived to go abroad yesterday.
Colonel Nanayakkara added that he had received a call from a Roman
Catholic nun in the area that she had been forcibly prevented by the
LTTE from using the exit point to visit a seriously ill relative at the
The Colonel saying the Army never obstructed civilian movement, added
that two LTTE cadres who had tried to breakthrough the barrier at
Omanthai had been handed over to Vavuniya police.
The ICRC had to withdraw their offices in Omanthai and Uliyankulam
due to safety concerns on May 22 as the LTTE launched mortar attacks on
the two road blocks. A civilian vehicle was also fired at during the
Meanwhile, sources revealed that the LTTE is trying to keep the Wanni
civilians in captivity to cover up its tyrannical rule in the uncleared
The sources revealed that arbitrary executions, torture and
abductions have become the order of the day in the Wanni as the
civilians continued to distance themselves from the LTTE.