Long queues in Jaffna for ration supplies
[TamilNet, Monday, 08 January 2007, 20:19 GMT]
Residents of Jaffna peninsula stood Sunday in long queues in front of retail co-operative stores day long, to buy rationed quantities of soaps and potatoes, while the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) and its armed forces in Jaffna peninsula kept maintaining that stocks of food, medicine and other essential commodities are available in plenty in the peninsula of Jaffna. This was the first time these commodities were brought into Jaffna peninsula since the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) closure of the A9 route five months ago.
One and a half kilogram of potato, one cake of bathing soap and one for washing were sold per family for a period of one month, at the co-operative retail shops.
Potatoes and soaps in these meager quantities were available on ration after a period of five months with a ship having brought potatoes and other food items directly from Chennai to Jaffna peninsula during the week-end.
Though Jaffna peninsula farmers produced potatoes enough to meet the peninsula's requirement last year, seed potatoes needed for this year were not sent to Jaffna peninsula with the GoSL closure of A9, creating a scarcity due to the intended negligence of the government, according to farmers in Jaffna.
Potato brought into the peninsula in private planes is sold at Rs. 1000,- per kg while the price for potato in the co-operative shop is Rs.50,- per kg.
Subsidiary food items and other essential commodities, sold in the black market and available in limited amount cannot be bought by the ordinary people of the peninsula because of their exorbitant prices, complain Jaffna residents.