Kilinochchi faces critical shortage of essentials – GA

[TamilNet, Monday, 02 July 2007, 05:25 GMT]
“Transport facilities along the main land route to Vanni limited to only three days a week has created a serious crisis in Ki’linochchi and a more critical shortage of essential items is about to develop in the near future,” said N.Vethanayagam, Government Agent (GA) of Ki’linochchi, said Friday during a briefing to the media on the changes in the district after the collapse of the peace process.

Excerpts from the briefing follows:

After the clashes in Mukamaalai in August 2006, only 15 trucks were allowed by the security forces through Oamanthai check point everyday. The monthly total of 300 trucks was for both Ki'linochchi and Mullaiththeevu districts.

The trucks transported medicines, milk powder, relief supplies for displaced persons and various other goods required for the use of civilians of these districts. Though the supplies were inadequate to meet the needs of the public, yet at least most items were available in limited quantities.

After the clashes in Mukamaalai, there was a complete ban on transporting fuel supplies to Vanni.

After a short while 600,000 litres of kerosene were allowed in to be sold at controlled price and up to now this quantity continues to be delivered. This quantity is inadequate to meet the needs of the public we try to distribute for agricultural activities, house hold use and the needs of students.

Motor-cycles have started using kerosene. This quantity of fuel allowed by the Ministry of Defense is not adequate for use in our district.

Last year, a quantity of fuel was provided for the government secretariat but since then we never received any supply of fuel. As a result the government departments as well as non governmental organizations (NGOs) are unable to function efficiently.

Due to the recent skirmishes in the vicinity of Pu'liyangku'lam check point, this check point is kept open only on three days.

Since the controlled supply of even 300 truck loads was further reduced to just 110, we are unable to provide relief supplies to 166,660 people from 27,920 families displaced due to the military offensive.

The check points are opened at 9:30 a.m. and closed at 5:00 p.m. and keeping the land transport route only for three days of the week causes great inconvenience to the people of Vanni. A change must be made in this procedure and I have explained this to the authorities concerned.

We have obtained permission from Ministry of Defence to export excess paddy produced in Vanni to be sold in south and we have been allowed to transport 30,000 metric tons of paddy. We have been permitted to transport this quantity of paddy on three days of the week, on a limited basis at the rate of only five trucks per day.

Though we are able to provide limited quantity of relief supplies to the displaced people, we do not have the means to provide them suitable shelter. We have requested the NGOs to help us construct shelters for these people,” Mr. Vethanayagan said.



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