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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2896

Food items aplenty in the Vanni, warehouses are full to the brim - Commissioner General of Essential Services

Colombo, 03 November, ( Food item are aplenty in stocks available in the Wanni region, where all warehouses are full. Government Agents in Mullaitivu and Kilinochcho are looking for additional buildings to store the new stock of food items arriving weekly, on a regular basis. Weekly 50 truckloads of food items are made available in the three dropping points in both Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi districts.

S.B.Divaratne - Commissioner General of Essential Services, speaking to Asian Tribune said that “We had a meeting on Friday presided over by Basil Rajapakse, Senior Advisor to the Sri Lanka President, at the President's Office to discuss ways and means of sending essential food items, provided by India in the future to Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu Districts.

At the meeting, High Commissioner of India Alok Prasad, Minister Douglas Devananda, Dr. Palitha Kohona Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Northern Province Governor Dickson Dela Bandara, Army officers of Northern Province, secretaries to the ministries, Government Agents of Kilinochchi, Vavuniya and Mullaitivu were present.

It is learnt that the purpose of the meeting was to brief Alok Prasad, Indian High Commissioner with the prevailing food situation in the Vanni districts and how far Sri Lanka Government handled the humanitarian situation, to look into if there are any shortcomings in the supply and distribution of food items, and whether any support from India was required. Asian Tribune learnt that these were the important things that were discussed in the meeting.

Speaking to Asian Tribune , Commissioner General of Essential Services Divaratne said, "I opened up the discussion with a detail account of what we have been doing for the last two years as far as the food delivery was concerned and also of the recent measures we undertook to accelerate the food delivery program."

Government Agents of the three districts confirmed that they have received food deliveries in time, uninterruptedly and all their warehouses used to store the food items in the three Vanni districts which also include the district of Vavuniya are now full.

Government Agents said that they have to look for additional warehouses to store the food items which will be received in the future.

According to the Commissioner of Essential Services, since 14 October to date, Sri Lanka Government have sent 5,300 Metric tonnes food items in about 440 lorry loads, in addition to the Government’s regular deliveries to the multi-purpose cooperative societies in those districts.

He further said, as far as the prevailing health condition is concerned Dr. Sathiyamoorthy, the Regional Director of Health Services in Kilinochchi, contacted with us last Monday - in fact he is in contact with us every day, and said that the last batch of drugs - anti-malaria and anti venom were received in Vavuniya and they are making arrangements to transport them to three points in the Vanni district.

"Even education wise there is no problem. Uniforms and text books for the year 2009 has already been delivered. By and large with regard to the humanitarian issues, there are no shortage of food and everything is well under control", Divaratne said.

He further told Asian Tribune , "Indian High Commissioner told us that he is prepared to provide required relief items. He requested us to provide him with the list of relief items needed after discussing with the three Government Agents. Immediately after the meeting, I met the Government Agents and requested for the same and they will be sending us their requirements, hopefully we get those details soon. Immediately those requirements will be hand delivered to Indian High Commission.

"India is very supportive in supplementing our own efforts. Indian High Commissioner was convinced that the Government is doing an excellent job; as well the government is committed to help the civilians who are trapped in the war situation.

"In fact we have never created a situation the people to starve for want of food and the people in the Vanni region are well provided with their food requirements. By and large the overall situation is well under control. Emergency situations are being handle to the maximum satisfaction and 50 lorry loads of food items will leave for the Vanni districts every week, in addition to the 15 lorries that passes through the Omanthai check point with the normal deliveries to Multi-purpose cooperative societies in the region to supply food items which are distributed by the cooperative societies and these are for sales to general public.
Nearly 2000 Metric tones of food items are needed for each district every month for sales through multi-purpose cooperatives," he said.

Divaratne also said, "One section of the free ration supplies are looked after by the government assistance and the other section is looked after by the World Food program. In addition we are supplying kerosene and every district has a quota of 500, 000 liters every month. Daily browsers are going to these two districts with Kerosene."

-Asian Tribune -

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