Stringent embargo continues to afflict Mutur east

[TamilNet, Friday, 01 February 2002, 07:33 GMT]
The embargo on the free supply of food, fertilizers, kerosene and most essentials, including boxes of matches and sugar, to Mutur east in the southern part of the Trincomalee district is still strictly enforced by the Sri Lanka army at the Kattaiparichchaan entry point, according to the TamilNet's correspondent in the eastern port town who visited the region Thursday. However, "Help for Peace" says a new signpost in English and Tamil at the SLA's Kattaiparichchaan entry point. From Tuesday, the SLA eased stringent controls on civilians from other parts of the district entering Mutur east following several appeals to the Sri Lankan security forces commander for Trincomalee.

The Sri Lankan government said earlier this month that it would ease the economic embargo and restrictions on fishing and farming in a move towards "creating a conducive climate for peace talks" with the Liberation Tigers.

Nevertheless the SLA permits people living in LTTE held villages in Mutur east to take only limited quantities of rice, lentils, sugar, flour, kerosene and all essential goods.

The SLA does not allow traders in Mutur east to take food and other essentials for sale from the other parts of the district which are under its control.

Hence the traders have collect limited stocks through purchases from families in their villages and sell the goods thus purchases to others at exorbitant prices.

A litre of kerosene is sold for Rs. 50 and a kg of sugar for Rs. 45 in Mutur east whereas the price of a litre of kerosene is Rs. 18 and a kg of sugar is Rs. 31 in areas held by the SLA.

Mr M. Kanthasamy of Kaddaiparichchan said, "the embargo on transporting essential food items imposed before the cessation of hostilities is still in force in my village. The government says that it has relaxed the embargo and would allow the transport of food items to areas LTTE held areas in Vanni region. But it has forgotten the people living in the villages of Mutur east."

The TamilNet correspondent saw a villager carrying kerosene for his domestic use in a shopping bag (a thin transparent polythene sachet) through the Kaddaiparichchan army camp sentry to the LTTE held area. "We are not allowed to take kerosene in bottles. That's why we take it in shopping bag", K. Krishnapillai, of Kadatkaraichenai said.

A farmer in Sampur said, "the SLA allows to bring urea fertilizer for our paddy crops only after we mix it with sand in the presence of SLA soldiers at the entry point. This is a difficult task. The transport of urea Mutur east villages is still banned".

Mutur east villagers complain that the authorities have forgotten them despite the cessation of hostilities.


Related Articles:
27.01.02   Thondaman meets LTTE in Mutur
15.01.02   Vanni ban relaxed, rules limit flow
27.12.01   Mutur East denied medical services

 

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