all towns are
one, all men our kin.
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Sri Lanka's Genocidal War - '95 to '01
Arbitrary embargo on essential food and medicine to the Tamil homeland
At the same time, President Kumaratunga enforced an arbitrary embargo on the transport of essential food and medicine to the Tamil homeland.
- "People leaving for the north (of the Tamil homeland) face a large placard naming the items that (have become) contraband... It's a long and bewildering list - AA batteries, light bulbs, liquids in plastic bottles, pots and pans, and medicine.... "Now I have four soaps. Who knows what will happen on the other side. May be I will walk out with only one or two" said a woman cradling her six month old daughter in a sling. She had thought of buying baby lotion but could not afford to have the army confiscate it. "Even though we are allowed to carry two litres of kerosene, when we go through the check point the army will take it," another woman complained. It is the arbitrary nature of the embargo that upsets people..." (Suzanne Goldenberg reporting from the frontline in the island of Sri Lanka to the London based Guardian on 29 May 1995)
"The Jaffna Government Agent (GA) told a conference at Colombo's Rehabilitation Ministry on 31 May that Rs.5 million ($100,000) was immediately required to supply food (to the north)... Plans for rehabilitation have ground to a halt after the government disbanded the North-East Rehabilitation Task Force in mid-May. Shortage of medicines is affecting poor patients in the north. Even painkillers and antibiotics are in short supply. .. Reports say 116 people died in the Jaffna hospital in the Jaffna Hospital, the majority of septicaemia. Only a fraction of the 300 lorry loads of food required for 200,000 people has reached Killinochchi District and reports say the GA has no reserve food stocks. Kerosene is hard to obtain even at a high price." (British Refugee Council Publication, Sri Lanka Monitor, May 1995)