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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2641

Jaffna food prices hit ten times that of Colombo- Salt not available!

Colombo, 31 October, (Asiantribune.com): One box of matches costing only Rs. 2.50 (US $ 0.02 cents) in Colombo city is sold for nearly ten times that price at Rs.20.00 ($ 0.18 cents) in Jaffna, while an egg that cost Rs 6.00 ($ 0.05 cents) costs Rs 20.00 ($ 0.18 cents) or more in Jaffna. Some essential food items such as salt, sugar, flour, coconut oil, mysore dhal (lentils), are not found in Jaffna altogether.

Even the prices of available essential items -such as the staples rice, coconut, coconut oil, egg, fish, and bread - have skyrocketed and have become scarce.

Price of one Kilo of rice (in a roadside shop) ranges from Rs 175.00 to 200.00 (starting US $ 1.63 onwards). Flour is not available even at a high price of Rs.100.00 (around 1 $) and above. One Coconut - per nut ranges from Rs.65.00 to 90.00 ($ 0.84 cents) and it too is scarce as coconuts 'imports' from outside the peninsula are no more. Salt and sugar are not found anywhere and salt was last sold 500 grams for Rs.80.00 ($ 0.74 cents). Sugar is not in the shops and 1 kilo was last sold at Rs.300 to 400 ranges ($ 3.73 a kilo). Milk powder and baby foods are not available.

One egg in the Peninsula is sold at Rs.20.00 ($ 0.18 cents) and normal varieties of fish are sold at Rs.700 to 1000 ($ 9.32) a kilo and only small fishes are available since fishermen of the peninsula do not venture out to sea due to the high risk.

Furthermore petrol, diesel and kerosene are scarce. Kerosene per liter is sold at Rs.125 and above ($ 1.16).

However, since electricity connections are still on people are managing without kerosene but mobile phones in the peninsula are dead. Land lines though still function.

Spices-coriander, garlic and pepper- are not available and 1 kilo of coriander was last sold at Rs.600.00 ($ 5.59).

Banana (Kathali) the small ones are available per kilo at Rs.30 ($ 0.27 cts), manioc / cassava yams (Miyoka) at Rs.40 to 80 ($ 0.74 cts) and a kilo of vegetables at Rs.50 – 60.00 ($ 0.56 cts).

Comparative street market prices in Colombo 6 - on 27 October 2006 Prices indicated in Sri Lankan Rupees (SLR)

1.Salt - 400 grms pack – 15/=

2. Eggs 01- 7/= max

3. Rice - 40/= or 50/= per kilo

4. Sugar - 40/= per kilo

5.Bread - 1 loaf (500 grams) - 24/=

6. Mysore Dhall - 85/= 1 kilo

7. Fish - 300/= or more per per kilo

8. Coconuts - 18/= per nut

9. Milk Powder such as Anchor - 1 packet - 160/=

10. Red onions - 40/= per kilo

11. A box of matches - 2.50

12. Vegetables - 60/= to 80/= per kilo

13. Bananas (cheapest variety) - starting @ 40/= a kilo

- Asian Tribune -

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