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Sri Lanka's Genocidal War - '95 to '01
Cuts in food, fuel & medicine result in humanitarian crisis...
The British Refugee Council publication, Sri Lanka Monitor reported in its October 1998 issue:
"The Jaffna NGO consortium urged the UN Secretary General in late October to ensure that sufficient humanitarian assistance reaches the people of the Vanni in northern Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan government slashed food aid to LTTE-held areas from 1 July. The Vanni region, hit by earlier cuts, has further suffered by a 57% reduction in food supply. Reports say that attempts of Colombos business community to send food to the Vanni has been thwarted by the Defence Ministry.
The government has also cut fuel supply alleging that fuel reaches the LTTE. The shortage of fuel has affected agriculture and the Government Agents warn that the food situation is likely to deteriorate further. Reports say that the Vanni is being denied development assistance. Upto October, the LTTE stronghold of Mullaitivu received only 27% of the Rs 3.4 million development aid allocated. The Defence Ministry has delayed permits to transport shelter materials to the Vanni and the GAs are unable to carry out essential repairs to refugee huts before monsoon rains in November.
The shortage of medicines continues. Three refugee children died of diarrhoea in Akkarayankulam hospital in early October. Cholera is reported in some areas and there are fears of an epidemic. The Vanni refugees have continued to demonstrate against food cuts before government and UNHCR offices for the last two months...
Cholera in Mannar
"The Uyilankulam Army checkpoint on Mannar-Cheddikulam road, was closed on 10 October after cholera was reported in Mannar. Uyilankulam is the only place where people from the northern Vanni are allowed to enter southern areas.
Six people died of cholera in early October at Vidataltivu, north of Mannar town, and over 90 people were admitted to the hospital. Another 60 cholera patients received medical treatment in Madhu hospital, further south-west. Schools and restaurants in Vidataltivu were closed on the orders of health authorities....
In the East...
"Local people say that restrictions earlier imposed on Vaharai continue even after the area was captured by the Army in June. Civilians are allowed to carry only a small quantity of food stuff into the area. In early October, the Army confiscated food from traders although they held permits.....
(British Refugee Council publication, Sri Lanka Monitor, October 1998)