Protests in Vanni over supplies

[TamilNet, Monday, 19 July 1999, 19:11 GMT]
The offices of international relief agencies in Mallavi in the Vanni are being picketed by people protesting against the closure of relief supplies into the region, reported the Voice of Tigers (VoT) radio in its night bulletin today. The offices of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and CARE are amongst those being picketed, said the radio.

The protests are being organised by community organisations such as the Northern lorry owners Association, Traders Unions and Associations for providing relief, it added.

The radio said that the people who were picketing in front of these offices had asked for an assurance from the aid agencies over the issue of opening supply a route into the Vanni.

As the officials of the NGOs had so far not given the assurance, lorries belonging to the Northern Lorry Owners Association had been parked in a long line opposite these offices, the radio added.

The demonstrators urged the international non governmental organisations to bring pressure to bear on the Sri Lankan government to open a road to the Vanni on humanitarian grounds.

The VoT said that another protest was staged opposite the Kilinochchi Kachcheri today.

Meanwhile Sri Lankan government sources said that the salary for civil servants had not been paid for last month and the necessary money had not been sent to the Vanni areas held by the LTTE.

T.Kurukularajah the Regional Director of Education said that there is an uncertainty in the Vanni as to whether the Competitive Examination to select School Principals would be held in July this year. The exam has not been held for 4 years.

He has doubts whether the G.C.E O/L examination could be held on August 2 either, in keeping with schedules for other parts of island, due to the closure of the supply route into the Vanni.

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