SLA drives Jaffna black market
[TamilNet, Thursday, 23 October 1997, 23:59 GMT]
The sale of liquor has become rampant in Jaffna as there are no excise restrictions on opening arrack taverns or retail outlets.
Any one who has some capital and the right connections with the SLA authorities can open a liquor shop. Arrack is being sold in some grocery stores in the town and its outskirts too.
The sale of medical goods is also unrestricted in the peninsula now.
Some 'phamarcies' which have sprung up in recent times sell antibiotics, contraceptives and materials and drugs used for abortion, well passed their expiry dates or banned elsewhere in the island.
Soldiers of the SLA are cashing in on this creeping disorder in business and trade in the security zones of the peninsula. Many of them are involved in the sale of cigarettes and betel.
On days when there is a shortage for cigarettes, soldiers in the business sell them at one rupee above the control price to local shops and boutiques.
But other soldiers who come to buy on such days demand that the shop owners give them cigarettes at the control price. Shop owners have no choice.
Betel is also bought and sold by SLA soldiers well above the market price say residents.