Disaster Management, Jaffna, Peace and Conflict, Poverty

Jaffna These Days

From Aug 11th security forces closed the A9 highway after the LTTE attack. A9 is the only land route connecting Jaffna to other places, as a result, people are now facing difficulties to travel to other places after the closure of the A9. Earlier an average 8,000 people travelled on the A9 daily. Now only two ways are open to Jaffna people. One is sea transport, other one is air transport.

A vessel called Green oceanic carried passengers between Jaffna Trincomalee once a week and two local airlines conducted passenger service Colombo-Jaffna daily. People need Security clearence before the journey (MOD). These transport facilities are not enough to fullfill the Jaffna peoples’ needs.

Thousands of people are waiting in Trincomalee to go to Jaffna and a big crowed has registered their names in the Civil affairs office to leave Jaffna. Before the land route closed an average 200 (12 seat) small vans carried passengers between Colombo-Jaffna daily, now these van owners facing difficulties to pay the monthly lease. Most of the vans purchased by lease.

Security has been tightened in Jaffna with check points at every junction. Forces are checking the vehicles. Passengers get down from the buses and other vehicles and are checked every five kilo meters. Curfew declared between 8.00p.m and 5.00a.m.

Most of the roads closed for public transport and some other roads made one way by Security forces for security reasons. Shops, pharmacies and food cities shelves are empty.

Dry food taken by ship and distributed through the MPCS for ration. This is not enough to meet the people’s needs. Security forces also opened shops in important junctions and sell dry food at controlled prices. People wait in big queues to buy the essential things at MPCS and Military shops. Every junction anybody can see a queue.

Fuel distributed through the filling centers for ration. Essential things sell in the black market at more than five times to ten times the market price. Here are some of the market prices.

Market price & Selling price

Rice 200.00 rs

Floor 80.00 rs

Sugar 300.00 rs

Egg 50.00 rs

Cocunut 80.00 rs

Cocunut oil 1200.00 rs

Milk powder 165.00 rs 325.00 rs

Soap 20.00 rs 150.00 rs

Biscuit 20.00 rs 130.00 rs \

Shampoo 2.00 rs 35.00 rs

Box of matches 2.00 rs 30.00 rs

Chocolate 5.00 rs 25.00 rs

Moscuito coil 36.00 rs 120.00 rs

Batteries (pair) 200.00 rs

Baby infant 180.00 400.00 rs

Tin fish 300.00 rs

nestomalt 170.00 rs 1000.00 rs

washing powder 6.00 rs 50.00 rs

camphor 2.50 rs 10.00 rs

panadol 1.25 5.00 rs

Vegetable and fish price also increased. potato 1000.00 rs, tomarto 500.00 rs,Green chillie 250.00 rs,Chillie 1200.00 rs.

The tourist industry is completely down. A lot of guest houses opened after the ceasefire agreement, but now 90% of the guest houses and western restaurants are closed or stopped their business. Somebody invest big money for restaurant business. A Tamil person came from canada and opened a restaurant with 7 million, this is an example. Many businessmen invest big money in restaurant business.

Local restaurants and tea shops stopped prepare the foods, Shortage of oil, rice, floor, dhall, green gram and sugar. Nearly two thousand persons lost their jobs. Those who worked in private sectors masons, carpenters, fishermen and daily coolies facing poverty and starvation. Gas is not available and fire wood price also increased to 12.00 rs per kg.

Most of the families reduced to take tea and turned to plain tea. Some poor families manage with one time meals only. Normally the jaffna people prepare the curries add cocunt milk, now they prepare the curries without cocunut milk. Farmers are unable to buy fertilizer and fishermen unable to go to the sea. Farm owners selling chickens for meat and stopped egg business. Agriculture Department distributed the fertilizer for lottery, Shortage of fertilizer.

The schools will be open this week for the first term. Parents searching stationary for Fresher students, stationary also selling double the mark price. People waiting in que to buy two three exercise books in the stationary shops. No magazines or newspapers in the libraries periodicals divisions.

Town desserted after 3.00p.m and the shops closed 2.30p.m.

Some of the govt Departments closed 2.00 p.m and some banks stoped business 12.00 afternoon. Bus services stopped after 5.00p.m.

Kidnappings and murders going all over the peninsular. Human Rights Commission records said 163 persons abducted after the Aug 11th out of 50 in the Security forces custody, Security forces said. Some murders tookp lace the reason of Military informants. Some others killed those who support LTTE earlier. Normally the ordinary Civilians talking open the mouth for eating purpose only.

Patients also facing trouble to buy the drugs, no drugs in private pharmacies. Chiken kunniya attck recently 1/4 of the Jaffna people, But the patients unable to buy drugs or nutritional food. Same thing for the diabetic and veasing patients also. The people are not celebrate Christmas or New year the cake ingredients are not available in Jaffna egg, butter and magarine. Only one thing is cheap grapes. No facilities to send grapes for other places that is the reason grapes selling 50.00 rs to 70.00 rs. No calenders or Diaries in the bookshops or stationary shops for the new year.

Jaffna based Newspapers stoped their weeklies due to a shortage of newsprint and reduced the pages also. All the Newspapers reduced the copies of printing too.