Goods pilfered in Colombo Harbor, Jaffna traders complain

[TamilNet, Saturday, 12 January 2008, 13:49 GMT]
Jaffna Traders Association representives accused workers and other agents at Colombo Harbor for organized pilfering of millions of rupees worth of goods waiting to be transported to Jaffna, and blamed this theft as one of the key reason for the elevated prices of essential food and other items in Jaffna compared to the prices in other areas of Sri Lanka, civil society sources in Jaffna said.

The complaint was highlighted during a press briefing conducted after a meeting between the representatives of the Jaffna Traders Association and members from the Shipping Union, sources said.

Although prices of goods are determined by the Jaffna Secretariat and the shipping costs are factored into the prices, traders are forced to sell at prices higher than those published by the Secretariat to recover the significant losses incurred at the Colombo Harbor due to the unscrupulous pilfering, traders representatives added.

Although this issue has been raised with the higher authorities at the Colombo Harbor, no preventive measures have yet been taken, traders further said.

Traders also expressed apprehension on taking further actions, as they said they feared further recrimination by the harbor authorities, and said that smooth flow of goods depend on the "goodwill" of the Colombo authorities.

With the unilateral termination of the Ceasefire Agreement by Colombo begins to take effect on the 16 January, many Jaffna residents fear war breaking out, and expressed concern of impending shortage of essential items.



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