Starvation is identified - Government Agent
[TamilNet, Saturday, 17 July 1999, 20:39 GMT]
The Government Agents of Mullaithivu and Kilinochchi have appealed to the government to take immediate action to open a supply route to the LTTE held Vanni areas and send relief food and essential commodities to the population there, said sources.
The appeal has been sent to the Commissioner General of Essential Services (CGES), N.A.Obadage, with a copy to the Government Agent in Vavuniya, who is the co-ordinator for the supply of relief food and essentials to the Vanni, sources said.
They have informed the CGES that the food stores and the multi purpose co-operative (MPCS) shops are without food as the road to the Vanni has been closed since June 26.
They have also siad in their letter that the ICRC escorted food convoy has not been regular for the past four months.
As there is an acute shortage of sugar, flour and dhal, government officials in the Mullaithivu and Kilinochchi districts are unable to distribute relief food assistance to the thousands of displaced families.
The officials have informed the government that the relief activities and the administrative functions of the government sectors have also been affected by the shortage of kerosene, the only fuel allowed by the government into the areas held by the LTTE.
The two Government Agents have stated that patients admitted to hospitals in their districts are unable to go to Vavuniya and Anuradhapura hospitals for further treatment by ambulance as there is no road to the Vanni. It is feared that many patients are dying due to a lack of adequate medical care, they said.
"Starvation among populaion is identified. Acute shortage of essential drugs is experienced. No route is available for the transportation of serious patients to Vavuniya," said T.Rasanayagam the Kilinochchi Government Agent in his message to the CGES.
Meanwhile Rt.Rev.Rajappu Joseph, the Bishop of Mannar, who has returned to Mannar island after a two day visit to the LTTE held areas of the mainland has said that 4000 people belonging to 900 displaced families from the Vidaththalthivu and Pallamadu areas, who have sought refuge under trees along roadsides in Thevanpiddy, in the western coastal areas of the Mannar district, are suffering without proper food, drinking water and relief assistance.
He has appealed to the government to rush food and kerosene to supply drinking water in bousers to the displaced population.