Jaffna population shrinking
[TamilNet, Thursday, 13 January 2000, 11:49 GMT]
Jaffna's Government Agent K.Shanmuganathan said that compared to other districts in the island, the population of the peninsula should be in the region of one million at present. But now only about 498,000 people are living in the Jaffna district, he said.
He was addressing a workshop on rehabilitation, reconstruction and relief development works in Jaffna district. The Consortium of Non-Governmental organisations in Jaffna District conducted the workshop in collaboration with the World Bank and other humanitarian agencies in Colombo.
The workshop was held at the Bastian Hotel in Jaffna town.
Mr.K.Shanmuganathan, a Government Agent added that the displacement of people from the peninsula began with the arrival of Indian Peacekeeping Force. However the year 1995 witnessed exodus of people from Jaffna to Vanni and other areas. Fifty percent of those displaced have not been resettled.
At present 6,871 families live in camps meant for displaced. Due to the present unsettled situation, the number of displaced has increased to 13,000 families.
Civil administrative officers in the northeast including Jaffna are working under the Ministry of Defence. Even to transport food items from Colombo to Jaffna they're required to obtain permission from the Defence Ministry. All persons living in the peninsula should own special identity cards.
Civil administrative officers working outside Northeast have been given more powers. Government Agents are empowered to supply cooked meals for three days to people who are in difficulty . When government agents in Vanni took steps to supply cooked meals to the needy it was stopped. But the government agent in Anuradhapura district was able to supply cooked meals to those displaced from Manal Aaru (Weli-Oya).