Ration distribution in chaos
[TamilNet, Sunday, 16 August 1998, 12:00 GMT]
Families in Jaffna are forced to be on short rations due to the 50% reduction in rehabilitationary allowances imposed by Sri Lankan authorities recently, say sources in Jaffna. The Grama Sevakas (local village authorities) are less willing to face the population with reduced ration cards, they said.
Thus the distribution of ration cards have become a critical issue in the region.
The District Secretaries and the Grama Sevakas have complained about the situation at the meeting arranged by the Government Agent (GA) of Jaffna, on 8 August. However, a few days ago, in a letter to the local authorities, the GA had announced a further cut in rations from 35% to 50%.
The sources close to Jaffna Kachcheri say that none of Grama Sevakas have appeared at the Jaffna Kachcheri to bring the ration sheets for this month.
In the meantime, the Sri Lankan military officer in charge for Jaffna town, Brigadier Susantha Mendis called the Additional Government Agent T. Waithylingam and the Grama Sevakas for Jaffna and Nallur areas to a meeting on 13th of August at 4.00 pm and instructed them to obey the regulations imposed by the government and to arrange for the distribution of rations.
He ordered them to carry out their duty as expected of government servants.
The Grama Sevakas point out the precarious situation caused by the reduction in a situation where many families are still displaced since many villages are not allowed for resettlement. Many facing a critical situation unable to support themselves as they are unable to find jobs due to the tough regulations imposed on fishing and agriculture.
They have requested the authorities to consider the situation and withdraw the cut in rations.