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Sri Lanka's Genocidal War - '95 to '01
Food Aid to Tamil areas slashed says British Refugee Council
"REPORTS say that following a meeting between President Chandrika and Essential Services Commissioner (ESC) NA Obadage on 16 June, the government has decided to cut food aid to refugees in the north from 1 July. Food aid will be slashed by 40% in Jaffna, 20% in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts and 15% in Mannar and Vavuniya districts.
Of the 81,200 families which receive food relief, only 55,500 will be assisted from 1 July. In the Vanni, only 32,200 of the 77,500 families will receive aid. According to reports the government is unable to continue the Rs 240 million ($4 million) a month food aid because of difficulties over finances.
The Government Agents were prohibited by Colombo to provide food aid to the 60,000 people in the Vanni displaced from Jaffna following Army operation Sunray II in April 1996. In May 1997, the number of people receiving food aid was arbitrarily reduced from 420,000 to 185,000 although at the time UN agencies estimated the number of refugees at 310,000. The government has always suspected that part of the food sent to the Vanni falls into the hands of the Tigers. Even before the government’s current decision, food was reduced. Reports say that in May, food to the Vanni by the ESC and the cooperative societies was 2,039 tonnes, 808 tonnes less than food delivered in April.
The food sent in May was also less than 40% of the average monthly delivery in the previous 24 months. Reports also say that the food available is adequate only for 150,000 people, while the displaced in the Vanni are currently estimated at 317,000. Observers say the cuts will worsen the situation and bring further misery on the people." (British Refugee Council Publication, Sri Lanka Monitor, June 1998)
"Against partisans backed by the entire population, colonial armies are helpless. They have only one way of escaping from the harassment which demoralizes them .... This is to eliminate the civilian population. As it is the unity of a whole people that is containing the conventional army, the only anti-guerrilla strategy which will be effective is the destruction of that people, in other words, the civilians, women and children..." (Jean Paul Sartre's Statement 'On Genocide' at the Second Session of the Bertrand Russel International War Crimes Tribunal on Vietnam, held in Denmark in November 1967)