Mannar villagers face acute food shortage
[TamilNet, Thursday, 07 September 2006, 07:07 GMT]
Tamil people in villages controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Mannar district have been facing severe shortage of food, fuel and other essential materials urgently needed for their day to day life due to the prohibition on transporting these by private traders from the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) controlled area by Uyilankulam army check point since August 11 with the outbreak of fight between the SLA troops and the Tigers.
Available food stock in co-operative societies located in LTTE held villages could last only for some days and that stock is also being distributed among consumers on a limited scale. There is no indication from the civil authorities whether fresh stock food and other items would be sent to LTTE held villages in time to avert a humanitarian crisis, civil sources said.
Although the Uyilankulam checkpoint was opened on four occasions for stranded people to reach their homes on both sides but private traders were not allowed to take food, fuel and other items from Sri Lanka Army controlled area.
However the SLA allowed a food convoy of about 23 vehicles to co-operative societies located in LTTE held villages through Madhu, and Manthai West divisions three days ago to distribute relief assistance to about four thousand families sought refuge in these divisions from areas located in the SLA controlled territory.
However, the prices of essential food items have gone up two-fold.
A box of matches is sold between five and seven rupees, a candle light between five and six rupees, one litre kerosene at 100 rupees, one litre petrol between 200 -300 rupees and diesel between 140-200 rupees.
Due to fuel shortage fishing and farming activities have come to a standstill.
In some areas kerosene is not available even to light bottle lamps in night.