SL President urged not to stop relief to IDPs in Jaffna district
[TamilNet, Friday, 21 May 2004, 14:20 GMT]
The Federation of Jaffna District Civil Organizations (FJDCO) Friday condemned the decision of the Government of Sri lanka to curtail the distribution of dry ration relief given to hundreds of thousands of families, a majority of whom are displaced and languishing in refugee camps and welfare centres without employment. The FJDCO has sent an urgent message to Sri lanka's President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunge, to order that all IDPs and those affected by the war be issued dry ration relief as usual without any reduction, sources said.
According to the directive issued to the Jaffna Secretariat by the Ministry of Rehabilitation, Reonstruction and Resettlement, 2/3rd of the IDPs and war-affected people in the peninsula would lose their dry rations relief, sources said.
The Jaffna secretariat has already distributed the dry ration relief for the month of January this year to all IDPs and affected families, sources said.
However, the ministry circular has come to Jaffna when the district secretariat took steps to distribute relief as usual for the month of February. Now Jaffna civil authorities have taken steps to reduce the number of relief recipients to 1/3rd, civil sources said.
Currently dry ration relief is being provided to families who are unable to resettle in their agricultural lands and houses which are located in the high security zones, fisher families who have lost their livelihood because of the restrictions imposed on fishing by the Sri Lanka Navy and those returned from South India and from elsewhere in the island, civil sources said.
The FJDCO has further appealed to President Kumaratunge to continue the dry ration relief to the affected till they can find employment or get resettled in their agricultural lands which are located in the HSZ now under the control of the Sri Lanka Army and Sri Lanka navy, sources said.