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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2589

Government food ship arrived in Point Pedro: Unloading begins today

Colombo, 09 September, (Asiantribune.com): MV Mercs Ruhuna the ship carrying nearly 3800 metric tonnes of dry rations and other essential food items arrived yesterday in Point Pedro. According to the Government Agent of Jaffna, the unloading is to begin from today.

The items including rice, floor, sugar, dhal, milk powder, canned fish, cooking oil etc. are to be distributed among internally displaced persons (IDP) in the Jaffna district.

Mr. S.B. Diwarathna, Commissioner of the Essential Services said that Government is on the process of storing up the essential food stocks sufficient for three months to serve the Jaffna peninsula,. As the first step, the ship Ruhunu Marcus reached Point Pedro yesterday , carrying a total 3800 Metric Tonnes of other essential items needed by the people. Value of this cargo is more than Rs. 3 Billion.

Initially the Essential Services Commission sent a cargo weighing 1600 Metric Tonnes of Food items on the 25th of August to Jaffna and later shipped another 900 Metric Tonnes of flour from Trincomalee.

Meanwhile, Nation Building and Development Ministry Secretary M.S. Jayasinghe in an interview with media said that the following the escalation of the conflict at the beginning of August, there had been nearly 200,000 IDPs. The situation has changed now and the people are beginning to return to their native places, he added.

He said IDPs who are in Kantale have started to go back to Muttur and the trend was continuing. Jayasinghe said the Government has already provided dry rations and essential food items to around 475,000 people in the North and Eastern provinces and other affected areas.

"Over 30,000 IDPs have been registered in Batticaloa and 15,000 in Ampara. Furthermore Fifty thousand IDPs have registered in Trincomalee, 2,000 in Mullaithivu, 40,000 in Kilinochchi, 7,000 in Vavuniya and 7,000 in Mannar," he said.

Jayasinghe said the Government has so far spent nearly Rs. 347 million on dry rations and essential food items for IDPs in Jaffna and a further Rs. 22.5 million for those in Batticaloa. It has also spent Rs. 153 million for Kilinochchi, Rs. 151 million (Mullaithivu), Rs. 12 million for IDPs in Vavuniya, Rs. 33 million (Mannar), and Rs. 89 million for IDPs in Trincomalee for procurement of essential food items.

- Asian Tribune -

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