News In Brief
[TamilNet, Monday, 06 October 1997, 23:59 GMT]
Tamil refugees in Trincomalee demand to be kept and moved together. Sri Lankan navy further restricts movements of people to islands off Jaffna. Meanwhile, Jaffna's crops are failing and the city's infrastructure, destroyed by Sri Lankan shelling, is in tatters.
Tamil refugees stand together
Tamil refugees in Trincomalee forcibly prevented two Sri Lankan government buses today from taking a section of them to Vavuniya.
They demanded that all 412 of them should be sent together to Jaffna. The Tamils were housed by the Sri Lankan authorities in an abandoned glass factory near Trincomalee town for more than sixteen months.
They were to begin a fasting campaign today to protest against the negligence of the Sri Lankan authorities. The buses were sent in to defuse the crisis by taking some of the refugees to Vavuniya and then to the Mannar island to board a ship to Jaffna.
These people were originally promised passage by sea to the peninsula from Trincomalee. Jaffna island boat service interrupted
The people of Nedunthivu are facing many hardships due to frequent interruption in the boat service to the island.
Passengers who travel many miles from Jaffna to the jetty at Kurikkadduvan have been forced to return to the town before 5 p.m. for security reasons after waiting for long hours there for the boat to Nedunthivu.
On days when the boat service is interrupted, people traveling to Nedunthivu have to wait in the scorching sun until 3 p.m. at the jetty.
Many appeals have been made to the concerned authorities but nothing has been done thus far lament the travelers.
Jaffna crops failing
A heat wave and delayed monsoons have hit Jaffna's agriculture. The heat wave is destroying many crops in the peninsula. The worst hit are plantain groves in Maruthanamadam, Uduvil, Inuvil and Urumpirai.
"Plantain trees are just shriveling up in the heat and dying" said a farmer. Coconut, jackfruit and lime trees have also been affected he said.
The farmers in the peninsula who have prepared their fields amidst severe hardships are worried by the delay of the monsoon.
Unlike farmers in Sinhala areas the cultivators of Jaffna are not given drought relief. Their problems are further compounded by the loss of equipment during Operation Riviresa.
Jaffna infrastructure in tatters
Many public utility buildings in Jaffna have been destroyed either completely or partially due indiscriminate shelling and bombing by the Sri Lankan army.
The Sri Lankan government is yet to permit various monies granted by western governments to even carry out minor repairs to these structures.
The predicament of the dilapidated Thunnalai north Allaiampathy market building is a case in point. Vendors have been compelled to set up their stalls by the streets for fear that the building might collapse on their heads at anytime.