The Commissioner General of Essential Services on Wednesday (Oct 15) submitted a report to His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of Sri Lanka on the on going operations to supply foods to Wanni. The report states that the government has been able to continue condition of sufficient food stocks to the civilians living in Kilinochchi and Mullaittivu districts effectively despite non cooperation of some international aid agencies . Further, the report recall that it is the government of Sri Lanka that has been providing foods to terror stricken areas during last 20 years and condition that this has been carried out with the utmost commitment to protect its own citizen but not to satisfy any global agency.
Following is the report in full :
Food Supplies to Kilinochchi and Mullaittivu Districts
Food supplies to the above districts are based on three categories. i.e.,
(a) People who were displaced prior to 11.08.2006
(b) People who were displaced after August 2006
(c) Food for sales to the general public by the Cooperatives
The government of Sri Lanka under the management of the Ministry of Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services maintains food supplies to the first category. The World Food Programme(WFP) under the supervision of the Ministry for Nation Building assists the government to provide food to the second category of people. Food and Non-food supplies for sale to the third category have been provided monthly with the recommendation of the Government Agents of the own districts. The government has so far maintained uninterrupted supplies to all the categories refereed to above. Details with regard to food provisions from January to date are given in the below illustrated tables.
On the directive of H.E. the President, an emergency process was launched to ensure uninterrupted supplies to the internally displaced people (IDPs) where they are currently located in the above districts. The operational principles and modality for food release under this programme was mapped out and executed under the leadership of Hon. Basil Rajapaksa, M.P. and the Senior Advisor to H.E. the President. A high level Committee Chaired by him with the following Members were appointed to check and over see the whole operation.
i Hon. Abdul Risath Bathiyutheen - Minister of Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services
ii Secretaries of the Ministries of Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services and Nation Building and Estate Infrastructure Development
iii Commissioner General of Essential Services
iv Chief of the Defence Staff
v Mr. Neil Buhne, Resident Representative of UNDP
vi Country Director ICRC
vii Country Director WFP
In order to successfully put into practice the emergency food delivery programme, the following operational principles were agreed to:
a. To maintain a bumper stock of nearly 5000 MT of essential food commodities (Dhal, flour, sugar, vegetable oil ) at the logistic network already established in Vavuniya. This arrangement was made to ensure quick supplies to Wanni instead of having to transport from Colombo.
b. An exclusive convoy of 75 trucks containing 750 MT of the above food items to leave from Vavuniya to the above districts paper. All these trucks to be sealed at the logistic hub in Vavuniya in the presence of Sri Lanka Army to avoid security checks at Omanthai Entry/Exit Point.
c. UN/WFP Staff to accompany the convoy to monitor the delivery of food to the allocated warehouses. i.e., Kandavalai, Dharmapuram, Puthukkudiyiruppu and Mulliyavalai. These warehouses were identified in order to ensure that food is delivered to the places where the people are largely located
The first convoy of 51 trucks with 750 MT of foodstuff items, which left Wanni on 3rd October 2008 successfully completed its mission. The respective GAs have confirmed delivery and distribution of the stock to the beneficiaries.
The second convoy of 50 trucks loaded with 750 MT of food cargo at Vavuniya logistic hub were to depart for Kilinochchi and Mullaittivu districts on 10.10.2008 could not proceed due to reluctance of the UN/WFP to travel on the new way suggested by the Security Forces Commander in Wanni. The first convoy travelled on Vavuniya, Mankulam, Oddusudan route and reached the destination as referred to above. However, the second convoy was advised to take the route from Vavuniya, Pullaiankulam, Nedunkeny and Oddusudan. This change of route was determined due to security reasons. Despite repeated needs by us, the convoy had not moved up to date.
Due to the failure of the WFP to move the food convoy, it became extremely necessary to arrange an urgent procurement from Vavuniya to ensure emergency food supplies to the above districts. On the advice of Hon. Basil Rajapaksa M.P., the Commissioner General with the assistance of the GA Vavuniya and Kilinochchi initiated an immediate act plan to procure food items from Vavuniya on Sunday (Oct 12). Consequently, 20 trucks loaded with nearly 300 MT of flour were sent on urgent basis to the above districts on Monday (Oct 13), on the new route.
Due to a damage of a drain on this route which was caused by heavy rain the convoy could not move the same day. Having completed immediate repairs with the participation of GA Vavuniya, the convoy reached the destination by Tuesday (Oct 14) evening, and distribution commenced on Wednesday (Oct 15).
The GOSL continues to carry out the emergency process to ensure that its people in Wanni will get enough food supplies without depending on the foreign aid.
The Role of the World Food Programme
The action of the UN/WFP to delay the 50 trucks already loaded with the goods awaiting security assessment of its Mission is completed is unacceptable. According to the terms of the Letter of Understanding between the WFP and GOSL, the overall objective of the operation to be assisted by WFP. In other words, WFP is to support the Government in its efforts to improve the food security of vulnerable people in conflict areas. The Government is responsible to put into practice the operation and for ensuring that the merchandise provided by WFP are properly transported, received, handled and accounted for and distributed to the beneficiaries. Also, it will facilitate the safe and unimpeded access for delivery distribution and monitoring of these commodities. Security permission for relief convoys that the government wish to send including food donated by the WFP will rest only on the Government and not on any foreign determination.
Under these circumstances, action by UN/WFP to withhold this convoy is terrible. This action has impeded the uninterrupted provisions to Wanni Districts for which WFP should get the responsibility. Certain attitudes of some UN Agencies and INGOs have raised serious concerns in the recent history as well.
Despite all these impediments, act has been taken by the government to fulfill its commitment to ensure uninterrupted supplies and avoid any lack of food. The Committee headed by Hon. Basil Rajapaksa MP, has now decided to make arrangements to deliver a convoy of 150 trucks containing basic food items to these areas.
The Commissioner General has directed respective GAs to deal out the food that is already available in the Multi Purpose Cooperative Shops (rice is available in plenty in these districts), in the event of any shortage. The GAs have cooperated in this emergency endeavour in an excellent manner. Coordinating Committee headed by Hon. Basil Rajapaksa MP is constantly monitoring the process and it will ensure that there would not be any shortage of food to the displaced people and the public of these districts at this period.
Further, the GOSL has not sought any logistic supervision by any outside agencies, as it is fully capable of discharging all its relief and other logistic functions. Any attempt by any organization to undermine its proven logistic position will have to be considered as hostile to the Government.
There has been no control by the UN Agencies and other Non-government organisations on actual distribution of the relief supplies to the beneficiaries. The Government always welcome the symbol of the UN or other émigré agencies to escort the trucks, if they wish to do so. The Government logistic system works perfectly well to the satisfaction of the beneficiaries and the UN partners. The Government has been providing release measures and logistic network to these terror-stricken areas for over 20 years. It is being accepted with huge difficulties and threat, not to satisfy the UN or INGOs but by deep-seated commitment of the GOSL to defend and feed its own citizens during these difficult years of their lives.
Commissioner General of Essential Services
Supply of necessary food items to displaced people in the Kilinochchi, Mullaittivu districts and non-liberated areas of Mannar and Vavuniya north - January to October 2008 by the Ministry of Resettlement & Disaster Management.
District No of Displaced Families Rice
Mullaittivu 18,626 1,584.00 749.00 507.80 31.00 2,871.80
Kilinochchi 17,268 1,400.00 550.40 405.60 25.00 2,311.00
Mannar 7,024 194.70 108.00 43.50 3.00 349.20
Vavuniya North 13,487 184.50 158.00 141.50 484.00
Total 3,363.20 1,565.40 1,098.40 59.00 6,086.00
Transport of food & non food items for sale to the general public in Thevanni by cooperatives in the Kilinochchi, Mullaittivu districts and other non-liberated areas.
District Metric Tons
Mullaittivu District 21,328
Kilinochchi District 19,900
Mannar District 540
Vavuniya North 1,315
Supply of kerosene to the displaced people in Kilinochchi, Mullaittivu and Vavuniya north - January to October - 2008
Districts Approved Monthly Quota Liters Total Qty. Transported up to October Liters
Mullaittivu 500,000 4,900,000
Kilinochchi 600,000 5,800,000
Mannar 130,000 690,000
Vavuniya North 300,000 2,400,000
Transport of food merchandise to the displaced people in the Kilinochchi, Mullaittivu Districts and non-liberated areas of Mannar and Vavuniya North - January to October 2008 under the World Food Programme by Ministry of Nation Building & Estate Infrastructure & Development.
Districts No. of displaces Families Rice (MT) Flour (MT) Dhal (MT) Sugar (MT) Veg.Oil (MT) CSB (MT)
Mullaittivu 11,308 1,375.310 1,833.540 306.351 42.300 141.487 73.340
Kilinochchi 22,006 2,561.950 1,515.894 593.711 36.500 178.777 135.660
Mannar 4,382 275.100 726.000 99.000 39.000 23.966 45.000
Vavuniya North 3,543 454.000 576.520 645.458 28.406 29.142 73.125
Total 4,666.360 4,651.954 1,644.520 146.206 373.372 327.125
Grand Total 11,809.537
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