Human Rights, Jaffna, Peace and Conflict

Buying Onions From India & China

Jaffna onion cultivators are unable to market their produce, but it is sad that Sri Lanka imports onions from India and China.
In Colombo onions are selling for Rs110 per kg. But in Jaffna onions sell at Rs30.00 per kg. One month ago Jaffna onion cultivators sold their produce at Rs7.00 per kg by going house to house on bicycles and land master small tractors.

A news item in the Daily Mirror 17th November said Sri Lanka importers will buy 30,000 tons of onions from India to augment supplies in the domestic market.

Agents are waiting at Tutricon and Chennai ports in India to buy the bulbs on the hope of a lifting of restrictions and will import 30,000 tons of onion by Decmber, the Essential Service Commodities Importers Association Spokesman said. Sri Lanka had recently imported 20,000 tons of onion from China.

If Colombo traders could purchase onions from Jaffna, Jaffna onion cultivators could earn their investment and be content. Transport and waiting other wages also lower than from India or China compared with Jaffna.
Sri Lanka imports onion from China and India, but Jaffna onion cultivators are unable to market their product.

  • JM

    Well, one might wonder whether Tamileelam will collapse if Sri Lanka refuses to buy Jaffna onions.

  • selvadurai

    There is a saying in tamil “thanakku mooku poanallum sathuruku Sakuna pilai vendum” which means “even if I loose my nose, I want my enemy to view an un-auspicious object” By keeping the A9 closed, Mahinda is not only harming the Tamils, bu it affects the entire country. What has he achieve by closing the A9? Has he stopped the LTTE’s movement? He is only harassing the innocent Tamil people. He has deprive the Tamils of their livelihood(education,fishing, farming, livestock rearing and their every day activities).

  • jc recognize tamileeelam already is a good thing. Whether or not it collapses is upto the people as there are alot more consumers than the srilankan. Maybe now the SL may get some Bombay onion again as they have been making sambol with Beijing Onions lately.

  • jc

    Only a modaya would pay more for food based on pride and nationalism..Only if modaya realizes that saving 80 rupees more per kilo over 20K tonns would equate to alot of money saved for the already down economy!

  • Singam

    GOSL also imports rice to reduce the price in the South from Rs40 per kg, when there is a surplus of rice available for transport to the South at Rs.28 per kg. Blockade on rice to the South from the Vanni and this onion business shows that GOSL is willing to cut its nose to spite the Tamils. The shame of it is that the international community, especially the Co-Chairs” by their silence and inaction condones such actions of the GOSL.

  • Sam

    How strange, and here I thought prices in Jaffna were “skyhigh” – is that all propaganda then?

  • Sham

    One month ago Jaffna onion cultivators sold their produce at Rs7.00 per kg by going house to house on bicycles and land master small tractors.

    rice at28.. wow not so long ago they were saying there was a food shortage and even a clergyman came out and said there was a drastic food shortage…………

    ???????????? Sams right, bet that was all lies, lies and damn lies

  • MS

    Can anyone with some intelligence justify what’s been going on in ‘terrorised’ island? Under Mrs. B she praised the Jaffna farmers for producing onions and chillies to save valuable foreign exchange in a starved foreign exchange economy. Over the past 25 years the opposite is the case. A scorched earth policy in the north and east to create “separation” ! What else can it be? So should not the Tamils in the north and east not be given the democratic option if they choose to separate? Better than spending valuable foreign exchange by the billions on bombs and bullets.

  • selvadurai

    Some of the commentators are not ashamed to show their [edited out – please be civil and address the issue, not the person(s)]. They just want to say something bad about the Tamils. Do they expect the people in Jaffna to live on onions and rice all the time? The “PATRIOTIC’ politicians import onions and rice from other countries, so that they can make a “cut” on it. All the Tamils are asking is “leave us alone we will manage our own affairs better than your corrupt politicians “

  • JM

    Again, I could not help but wonder why the Jaffna residents cannot survive on a diet of such cheap rice and onions, and instead have to depend on handouts from us. Why do you not show the rest of the world the innovative Tamil marvel of self-sufficiency in an arid desert land.

    Perhaps what is more important is that, an independent Tamil Eelam will suffer in isolation with nothing but hostility from Sri Lanka, and will eventually have to join up with Tamil Nadu for survival. Tamil Eelam itself has nothing to offer, save for its hardworking industrious people, and if these people perhaps migrated to Tamil Nadu – and I am sure that the great poet will be more than willing to grant a piece of land twice the size of Sri Lanka for the new migrants – would it not be better for everyone concerned?

  • selvadurai

    Jaffna people does not need handouts from the sinhala state. Of course everyone knows that the sinhala state cannot exist without begging from other countries. All they are asking the security forces is to get out of their land. They don’t need advisors telling them where to go or what they can do for survival. They are smart enough to manage their affairs.

  • suntzu

    JM…you want the Tamil people to go back to India? Why don’t you tell the Sinhalese also to go back to India from where they once came so that this island can once more be a paradise? Vijaya may have come to Sri Lanka on a monday…and the Tamils may have come on a tuesday or a thursday….this does not mean that Vijaya’s decendants have the right to dictate terms to the people who came later!

  • Suntzu, the Sinhalese never came from India. The Sinhalese as a people originated and came into being in Sri Lanka. There were no Sinhalese kingdoms in India, nor was Sinhala ever spoken there. The Sinhalese have no history in India. The conciousness of a Sinhalese people has its origins in Sri Lanka. Their civilisation lies in Sri Lanka, not India. Sri Lanka is the homeland of the Sinhalese people. On the other hand, the genius of the Tamil civilization lies in India, in Tamil Nadu to be exact. The Sinhalese haven’t invaded Tamil Nadu and claimed 60% of the coastline and 30% of the land area as their special exclusive “homeland.” But the vice versa of that is happening in Sri Lanka.

  • thekillromeoproject

    “the Sinhalese never came from India”

    Sarath, I find it puzzling that someone who is a sinhalese seems to have forgotton his own history. I would much appreciate it if you could enlighten me as to where Vijaya was born and spent most of his youth? The reason I ask is because it has been drilled into our minds ad nauseum that the Sinhala race traces their Bloodlines back to him and through him to the Aryan culture.

  • JM

    KillRomeo, saying Sinhalese came from India is just as vague and nonsensical as saying we all originated in Africa. What Sarath means is that there is no Sinhala Nadu in India. No Chief Minister in India is going to write a poem about Denzel Kobbekaduwa. In short, we do not have sixty million people in India who identify and sympathise with us, speak our language, share our culture, and have sufficient clout to influence their “centre” to bully the Sri Lankan government on our behalf.

    Sinhalese tracing our bloodlines back to Vijaya and his 700 shipmates is nothing more than a legend or a fairytale and most of us treat it as such. Sinhalese are a mixed race, and there is as much indigenous Balangoda Veddah and Tamil blood in me as there is North Indian, European, Chinese and African. What is important is not our racial origins, but our ethnic-national identity, which is wholly native to Sri Lanka, but the same cannot be said of the Sri Lankan Tamils. We have no links with India or any other homeland. I am sure that there are many Tamils in Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka, but they do not demand a homeland in these other states because they already have one in Tamil Nadu.