WFP denies report as more spoilt rice arrives

[TamilNet, Monday, 28 October 2002, 14:55 GMT]
As the World Food Program (WFP) this week denied a TamilNet report of October 8 that rice the UN agency had supplied and the Trincomalee Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society (MPCS) says it is being forced to distribute is unfit for consumption, reports from the eastern port town said further supplies of spoilt rice, infected with insects and weevils, had arrived this week.

In a letter to TamilNet this week, the WFP refuted a report of October 8 which quoted Trincomalee MPSC officials as saying they had received large amounts of rice from Colombo – instead of the usual location of Vavuniya – for distribution to displaced people and that the rice was not fit for consumption.

The MPCS protest was supported by the Government Agent who also inspected the rice.

But the WFP, which organised the delivery, insisted in its letter to TamilNet that “World Food Programme staff visited the MPCS. warehouse in Trincomalee where the rice is being kept on the 15th of October. Nothing wrong could be detected by smelling or tasting the rice.”

“Two thousand metric tons of rice from one of our donors, arrived in Sri Lanka a few months ago and is now being utilized. It arrived in good condition and recent samples taken from this stock show it to be perfectly fit for human consumption,” the WFP further said.

However, MPCS officials told TamilNet Monday that the spoilt rice is still lying in the stores and the Government Agent has directed MPCS not to distribute it to displaced people in the district.

Meanwhile, another consignment of rice received two days ago has also been found not to be fit for consumption, as the new stock is filled with insects and weevils, MPCS officials said.

The MPCS President has reported the matter to the Government Agent and to the Ministry of Rehabilitation.

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