Capturing Jaffna market, the sole intention of Southern Traders – JTU

[TamilNet, Saturday, 18 July 2009, 16:31 GMT]
“The traders and ministers from the South invading Jaffna peninsula are only interested in capturing the market in Jaffna peninsula; their visits are not in anyway beneficial for the people here,” Jaffna Traders’ Union (JTU) sources said Friday participating in a meeting with the 45 members of the National Chamber of Commerce (NCC) visiting Jaffna to explore possibilities of market opportunities. JTU met the Minister of Industrial Development, Kumara Welgama, in a separate meeting Friday, also held in the JTU office on Maanipaay road in Jaffna, where JTU members requested the lorries of Jaffna traders to be allowed to transport goods through A9 road to Jaffna as their repeated requests to several government authorities had been ignored, JTU sources added.

Southern Traders

“The sole intention of the traders and ministers from the South is to sell goods brought from the South to be sold at a high price to the people of the peninsula opening up marketing outlets for their goods and to appoint their own persons in these outlets,” JTU representatives said.

“The refusal to permit the lorries of Jaffna traders to transport goods from Colombo to Jaffna is an instance which proves our accusation,” they added.

“Jaffna traders have to pay 1,35,000 rupees to the lorries from South plus 40,000 rupees to Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Oamanthai check point for inspection of the goods and this cost could be reduced by half if our lorries are permitted to transport the goods thereby reducing the market price of the goods in Jaffna,” JTU members said.

“Only 400 lorries of Southern traders registered with the Commissioner of Essential Services (CES) are permitted to transport goods from Colombo to Jaffna and the CES has ruled out anymore new registrations, they informed.

“Though nearly 40 lorries, two or three times in a week, bring goods to Jaffna peninsula they are hardly enough to meet the needs of the peninsula. A minimum of 75 to 100 lorries should be engaged daily to meet the demand and the situation will soon become critical as Jaffna traders have stopped shipping goods to Jaffna,” they warned.

Southern Traders

Meanwhile, the visiting Minsiter Welgama announced Friday that the government will reopen the Kaangeasanththu’rai Cement Factory, Paranthan Chemical Factory and Odduchuddaan Tile Factory in Vanni and added that the Government Small Industries Estate in Achchuveali will be shifted away from SLA High Security Zone so as to recommence its activities, JTU sources said.

The Minister also said he will convey the JTU request to permit Jaffna lorries in transport of goods from Colombo to Jaffna to President Mahinda Rajapakse for immediate action, the sources added.


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