Valaichenai food restriction eased
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 29 April 1998, 23:59 GMT]
The supply of dry rations to Vakarai, in the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) controlled area, 60 km north of Batticaloa, which was suspended on an order made by Brigadier R. H. Silva, Brigade Commander of Sri Lanka Army (SLA) at Valaichenai, was restored today, said sources in Valaichenai.
Following the order, supplies of dry rations to refugees and to the Samudhri welfare recipients, will be distributed in Vakarai through the Multi-Purpose Co-operative Societies (MPCS).
The reversal of the earlier order of Brigadier Silva was brought about by Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) Members of Parliament for the Batticaloa District, Joseph Pararajasingham and K.Thurairajasingham and Government Agent A.V.Pathmanathan intervening in the matter, said sources.
Brigadier Silva called Divisional Secretary of Vakarai S.Muralitharan to his office at the SLA Paper Mills Camp at Valaichenai and gave him notice of the new order.
Following the order, five lorry loads of rations comprising 40,000 kg rice and 8000 kg sugar, was transported to the Vakarai, said sources.
As it is customary with food convoys crossing no man-s land into LTTE controlled areas, this convoy too was accompanied by the International Committee of the Red Cross.
The procedure of supplying dry rations to Vakarai underwent modification in December last year, when the Brigadier Silva ordered that all rations to the area should be distributed in Ushan, 2 km north of Valaichenai, rather than be transported by vehicle to Vakarai and distributed by the MPCS there.
Valaichenai lies about 30 km south of Vakarai and the order meant that recipients had to travel a considerable distance to collect their rations.
The Brigadier ordered the suspension of the supply of dry rations, claiming that the LTTE was using the provisions for its own needs.