No food shortage in Vanni
Tigers using tents, tarpaulins for combat purposes
74,618 metric tons of essentials sent
The Government yesterday re-assured that humanitarian assistance to
civilians living in non-liberated areas of Vanni would continue
un-interrupted, despite difficulties posed by vagaries of the weather,
terrorist activities and bad road conditions.
Confirming there was no food shortage in the Vanni, Essentials
Services Commissioner S.B. Divarathne said the Government was getting
the fullest cooperation of all stakeholders including the WFP andICRC in
the endeavor to provide supplies to the civilians.
Since August this year, the Government with the help of other
stakeholders had sent 74,618 metric tons of essentials to the area. In
addition, 90 per cent of the food parcels sent by India too had been
delivered, he added.
According to Divaratne, there had been 8,528 lorry loads of food sent
to Vanni during this period.
In addition, the Government was keeping a buffer stock of 3,000
metric tons in Vavuniya to meet any emergency.
Quoting independent figures, Divarathne said that nearly 250,000
people were living in the non-liberated areas mainly in Mullaveli,
Dharmapuram, Kandaveli and Pudikudirippu. Out of this figure nearly
100,000-125,000 are believed to be displaced, he noted.
Furthermore, in addition to food, 99 per cent of medical supplies
needed for hospitals in the area too had been dispatched, he said.
Commenting on the shortage of shelter material, Divarathne said that
the Government had decided not to send tents and tarpaulins as they had
received reliable information that the Tigers were using them for combat
As an alternative measure, the Government has decided to send
thatched cadjan as shelter material. A total of 200,000 Cadjan sheets
would be sent there shortly, he added. In addition the Government was
planning to send kerosene, school books and other necessities soon,
He also pointed out that despite Tiger claims, it was the Government
that provided essential supplies to civilians and that the Government
mechanism of utilising cooperatives, administration, hospitals etc is
functioning as usual.
During October, the Government had spent Rs.117 million to repair
dilapidated roads and streamline the delivery process as international
organizations had refused to attend deliveries citing practical
difficulties,, Divarathne added.
Commenting on the situation in Jaffna, Divarathne said despite having
to face the most severe floods recorded in 50 years, the Government has
brought the situation under control within a short period of time.
In Jaffna too there is no shortage of food or other essentials, he