Foreign envoys meet IDPs, medical, fisheries officials in Jaffna
[TamilNet, Thursday, 23 November 2006, 01:13 GMT]
Dr. C. Kathiravetpillai, Medical Officer at the Manthikai Base Hospital in Point. Pedro, Vadamaradchi raised the current acute shortage of essential food provisions, medical supplies and the malnutrition and starvation in the Jaffna peninsula caused by the closure A9 land route, with the Foreign envoys of Switzerland, Australia and United Kingdom when they visited the hospital Wednesday, sources in Point Pedro said.
The envoys also visited some of the Internally Displaced People sheltered in Karaveddy Vinayagar School, and in Chavakacheri in Themaradchi besides meeting representatives of the Northern Fishermen Society Consortium, sources from Jaffna said.
The diplomats met representatives of the Northern Fishermen Societies Consortium who described the economic difficulties they face due to the SLA ban on fishing in the northern seas.
The Medical Officer brought to the notice of the envoys the acute shortages in Manthikai hospital. The main issues raised by Dr Kathiravetpillai were:
- Lack of oxygen cylinders and the difficulty of bringing them to the hospital for urgent surgery due to the SLA road blocks which also impede patients in critical condition being taken to Jaffna hospital for intensive treatment;
- Shortage of fuel to run the generators providing power for surgical operations and the shortage of medicines available at the hospital;
- Unavailability of medicines in private pharmacies and hospitals have increased the number of out patients to the hospital by three fold; and
- The withdrawal of MSF medical staff from Manthikai hospital has adversely affected the medical services provided by the hospital.
The Foreign envoys departure from the hospital was delayed for more than 30 minutes when Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers blocked traffic along the Point Pedro-Jaffna road in front of the hospital to facilitate military convoys to pass Manthikai junction, hospital sources said.
Swiss Ambassador, Ruth Flint, ceremoniously opened the building complex constructed with Swiss aid at Udupidy Girls' College in Vadamardchy Wednesday.
Sources at Jaffna Secretariat said that the Envoys showed keen interest in visiting several parts of the Jaffna peninsula to learn the ground situation first hand by direct contact with the people.