IDPs in SLA detention camps lack sufficient food in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 11 February 2009, 01:35 GMT]
Jaffna Government Agent (GA) made an urgent appeal Tuesday to local and international non-government organizations in Jaffna to provide food materials to the 2400 detainees held in three Sri Lanka Army (SLA) camps as the arrangement of supplying cooked food to them has been suspended by the SLA authorities in Jaffna, sources in Jaffna said. The dry food items given to them under the World Food Programme (WFP) are hardly sufficient to meet the food requirements of the civilians detained in the SLA detention centres in Kurunakar, Koaappay and Mirusuvil, Jaffna Secretariat sources added.

IDPs in SLA detention camps
IDPs held in Sri Lanka Army (SLA) camp in Mirusuvil.

The GA said that he is appealing to the NGOs in Jaffna to provide the food materials as the dry food items like rice, wheat flour, lentils and oil given under WFP are hardly enough to fulfill the needs of the detainees.

At present around 2400 persons of 850 families brought by the SLA from Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) held areas in Vadamaraadchchi north, Pa’lai and Vanni are located in the SLA detention centres in Kurunakar, Koaappay and Mirusuvil.

The dry food items given under WFP are worth only Rs. 44 and 94 cents while the daily need of an individual is around Rs. 134 and 20 cents.

IDPs in SLA detention camps
IDPs held in Sri Lanka Army (SLA) camp in Mirusuvil.

Bread for breakfast and dinner cost each Rs. 33 and the expense for lunch is Rs. 68.20 making a total of Rs. 134.20, according to estimate by Jaffna Secretariat officials.

GA has been forced to request the NGOs to supply food material to the value of Rs. 90 as the food supply by the government has been suspended by SLA, the sources said.

The detainees are expected to cook their food but they lack vegetables, fish and other items to have a proper meal each day.

Meanwhile, steps are being taken to put up temporary shelters for the detainees so that families could stay without being herded together in the detention camps for a long period.

Though the NGOs had come forward to assist in constructing the temporary shelters the work remains undone as the SLA insist on locating the shelters under their direct control.

SLA continues to be suspicious of the young men and women among the detainees, NGO sources pointed out.

Besides, the IDPs had nothing on arrival at the camps and were only given one set of clothes.

IDPs in SLA detention camps
IDPs in SLA detention camps


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