News in Brief:
[TamilNet, Saturday, 23 January 1999, 14:46 GMT]
'Lanka Muditha' sails from Jaffna; Anuradhapura detainees begin hunger strike; Kilinochchi flood victims yet to receive relief help from the Social Service Department; 75 artificial limbs distributed in the Vanni and Akkarayankulam hospital releases statistics.
Transportation to Jaffna resumes
The 'Lanka Muditha', a cargo vessel charted by the Sri Lankan Government, will sail from the northern harbour of Kankesanthurai with 1000 passengers today. The ship is expected to arrive in Trincomalee tomorrow.
The ship will return to Jaffna with busses for the Northern Region Transport Board.
Sources said that the authorities have not informed passengers in Trincomalee who have registered for the sea transport to Jaffna.
Meanwhile 60 people have booked tickets for the Colombo-Jaffna flight scheduled to begin on Monday. The Sri Lankan Air Force will operate this passenger flight service. However, no announcements have been made in Jaffna regarding the flight service, sources said.
Political prisoners on hunger strike
Twenty-two political detainees held at the Anuradhapura Prison in the central province began a hunger strike yesterday, prison officials said.
The prisoners are demanding that the authorities either release them or take legal action against them.
Meanwhile officials from the Commissioner of Prisons will meet the detainees in the Kalutura prison, who are staging a hunger strike on the roof of the prison with similar demands.
Insufficient funds for flood relief
The Social Services Department has only provided half the amount of relief funds needed to help those who have been affected by the recent floods in Kilinochchi, said sources.
They said the District Secretariat in Kilinochchi had requested Rs. 850,000 from the Social Services Department, for the distribution of cooked food for three days and for the distribution of weekly dray rations to 3000 flood victims there.
However only Rs. 400,000 has been granted by the Department they said.
'Venpurah' provides important service
One hundred and seventy five artificial limbs produced by 'Venpurah' (White Dove) artificial limb facility were supplied to the war-disabled people in the Vanni during last year, a spokesman for the organisation said.
He said that more than 1500 artificial limbs were also repaired by their organisation during the same period.
He added that the organisation had manufactured more than 25 specially designed wheel chairs.
The organisation was able to carry on with this important service in the region with the funding facilities provided by the TRO (Tamil Rehabilitation Organization) and other non governmental organizations in the area, he said.
Kilinochchi Hospital releases figures
A total number of 250,903 patients were treated at the Akkarayankulam hospital in Kilinochchi district last year, sources at the Department of Health said.
The sources said that 214,100 were treated at OPD (Out Patients Department) while 2693 were treated in the wards and 27,340 in other units of the hospital.
Hospital sources said that 42,040 patients in the OPD and 2693 in the wards were treated for Malaria and 70,133 patients who were suffering from fever were treated in the OPD and 273 in wards.
In the OPD alone 4315 diarrhoea patients had been treated, while 303 patients were admitted to the wards there during last year.
Officials said that 397 persons had been bitten by stray dogs last year and 24 persons who were affected by snake bite and other poisonous means were treated in this hospital.
The officials said that they had recorded 1158 births and 206 deaths in the hospital last year.