News in Brief:

[TamilNet, Friday, 05 February 1999, 13:25 GMT]
The Sri Lankan Army bans supply of flour to Vadamaradchi east; Police say investigations have revealed that persons detained at TELO's Jaffna camp are being beaten up and over 4500 shortage of Tamil medium teachers in the north-eastern schools.

Flour supply banned

The Sri Lankan Army (SLA) has banned the supply of wheat flour to those areas of Vadamaradchi east that are not under its control. More than 5,000 people in this area will not be able to buy bread as a result.

The only bakery for the Vadamaradchi east area, based at Kudaththanai, used to make about 1,500 loaves of bread a day from the limitted supply of flour permitted by the SLA until February 1.

The Kudaththanai bakery stopped baking bread after the army banned its daily quota of flour.

The Maamunai-Kudarappu bakery that used to cater to the villages of Vadamaradchi east not under the SLA's control was burnt by troops from the Nagar Kovil camp last year.

Bread is eaten with a coconut paste or plain tea as a staple food by those who cannot afford the cost of cooking rice with an accompanying vegetable or meat curry. It is usually those who work for a daily wage as farm labourers or toddy tappers who rely on bread as an important part of their diet.

( In every single Presidential election the candidates usually promise to bring down the price of bread as part of their manifesto commitment. Bread is known as the poor man's food throughout the whole of the island.)


TELO detainees beaten up

The Sri Lankan Police said that persons arrested by the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO) are being beaten up at the group's camp at the 'Sinhala Mahavidyalayam' (school) at station road in Jaffna town.

The Police said that this practise was revealed in investigations they had conducted after receiving complaints from public.

TELO is a paramilitary group operating with the Sri Lankan Army (SLA). The camp is situated within the SLA's high security zone. TELO contested the Jaffna local council elections last year and controls the Valvettithurai (VVT) municipal council. A TELO member has a seat in the parliament in Colombo.


Teacher shortage hits North-eastern schools

The Tamil medium schools in the north-east province are short of 4567 teachers, mostly primary school teachers.

The President, Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge, has now directed the North-East Governor to take immediate steps to fill these vacancies.

The Governor, Major General Asoka Jayawardene, has been further instructed to take necessary steps to recruit the new teachers by holding a competitive examination, according to Colombo sources.

There are 1665 Tamil medium schools in the 24 educational zones of the North-east province. Contrary to this situation, 305 Sinhala schools in the North-east province have excess teachers on an overall count, official reports revealed.

 

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