Fuel crisis cripples IDP movement in Vanni - Ki'linochchi GA

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 19 August 2008, 11:24 GMT]
More than 100,000 Internally Displaced People in Vanni, languishing in dark beneath shrubs, bushes and in public buildings throughout Ki'linochchi district, and affected by various hardships imposed by the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) has crippled the ability of the IDPs to move themselves and their belongings, according to the Government Agent of Ki'linochchi district. 134,868 IDPs belonging to 35,353 families are heavily affected by the economic blockade in Ki'inochchi district. Meanwhile the rainy season has begun in Vanni and more than 75 percent of the families are getting drenched by the torrential rain.

Since 2006 Colombo had imposed a wide spread economic blockade in Vanni. There was a total ban on transporting many items including fuel, iron rods, cement, spare parts for motor vehicles and bicycles. This precipitated a wave of problems in the region. Construction of various buildings including houses being built for Tsunami victims, stalled. The local transport was crippled.

The supply of petrol and diesel for Ki'linochchi District was completely banned and only 500,000 litres of kerosene oil per month was permitted by the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defence. The activities including those of the government departments were conducted only in a very limited scale due to various restrictions. The limited amount of kerosene was apportioned among the civilian population on the basis of 5 litres per family. However due to the recent influx of war affected people from the Mannaar district and the bordering areas, the amount of kerosene per family has been drastically reduced and they are being issued only one litre per month.

When asked about the present situation the Government Agent (GA) of the district said: "We are facing a severe fuel crisis. We understand the hardships faced by the displaced people living under unsafe conditions under the shade of the trees and bushes. With the available, meager supply of fuel we are able to distribute only one liter of kerosene per family."

One litre of kerosene is sold at 95 rupees in Multi Purpose Cooperative Societies (MPCS). Private traders are selling one litre of petrol at 950 rupees. One litre diesel costs 400 rupees while engine oil is being sold at 1450 Rupees. Kerosene oil is sold at 250 rupees per litre. However, even at these prices they are not available at all business establishments.

The details of the quantity of fuel (In litres) available in the eight cooperative societies were submitted to the Government Agent on July 04, 2008.

  • Karaichchi East – No Stock
  • Poonahari - 1,590
  • Akkaraayan - 47,455
  • Pachchchlaippa'l'li -15,088
  • Thiruvaiyaa'ru - 7,270
  • Vadamaraadchi East –3,066

The stock details of Karaichchi South and Karaichchi North were not available.

Petrol and diesel were not available in any of these cooperative societies.

Similarly, the managers of the eight cooperative societies attending the meeting held August 12 at Ki'linochchi District Secretariat to discuss the need for essential items told the Government Agent that their stock of fuel has been exhausted.

Up to August 12 only seven bowsers and two Lorries carrying fuel arrived in the district, according to the GA.


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