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Sri Lanka's Genocidal War - '95 to '01
Tamil refugees appeal to the United Nations for food...The British Refugee Council publication, Sri Lanka Monitor reported in its November 1998 issue:
"FOLLOWING a demonstration against food cuts at Puthukudyiruppu in Mullaitivu District on 7 November, refugees sent a petition to the UN Secretary General and the World Food Programme (WFP) urging action by the international community to ensure sufficient food supply to the Vanni. The government-imposed 57% food cut on the Vanni remains.
Tamil MP Neelan Tiruchelvam urged the international refugee agency UNHCR in November to attend to the needs of the displaced people in the Vanni who are suffering without adequate food, medicines and shelter. In mid-November, the opposition United National Party demanded a parliamentary delegation to the Vanni to ascertain the situation.
Heavy rains have affected the refugees in the Vanni. Their flimsy shelters are damaged. Some refugees have moved to different areas seeking safety. According to the Government Agents (GA) there are 433,384 refugees in the four Vanni districts. The government Essential Services Commissioner (ESC) earlier supplied food aid to 295,000 people. Since 1 July, ESC has permitted aid only to 193,163 displaced people. Planning minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle said in Parliament on 22 November that food was reduced following an assessment of the number of refugees in the Vanni by the Rehabilitation Ministry. Tamils have accused the government of using food to make people suffer in order to bring pressure on the LTTE. President Chandrika has rejected the refugee figures submitted by the Vanni Government Agents and accepted the assessment of the Army.....
The Vanni GAs say 15,400 barrels of kerosene are needed in the first four months of 1999 to cultivate over 100,000 acres of land. The Defence Ministry has allowed 325 barrels saying that kerosene will be supplied in stages for agriculture. Since August, people have been denied permits to take five litres of kerosene allowed earlier. Food production in 1999 is expected to fall with the cut in fuel and restriction on fertilisers and insecticides....
Most shelters of the 5,600 refugee families in Jaffna camps are leaking during rains. Their homes lie within the military high security zones of Kankesanthurai, Palaly and Karainagar where civilians are not permitted. Reports say that almost 60% of the current Jaffna population of 493,800 is dependent on government assistance.
At a meeting of the Jaffna NGO consortium in November, Health Department officials revealed that only 50% of the medicines required for Jaffna District are sent from Colombo. Over 250 posts for doctors and other medical staff in the Jaffna hospital remain vacant..."