Sept 11, 2007 (LBO) – Residents in Sri Lanka’s northern Jaffna peninsular are moving beyond basic needs and are now looking for inputs to revive livelihoods, the top official in charge of supplying the area said Tuesday. S.B. Divaratne, Commissioner General of Essential Services (CGES), said regular shipments by sea to Jaffna had ensured the people had enough food, medicine, fuel and other basic products.
The government is looking at waiving port charges in an effort to bring down the cost of shipping goods to Jaffna and to give the benefit to the people by way of lower retail prices which were now too high, Divaratne told a news conference.
There are enough stocks of food, fuel and medicine in Jaffna to prevent shortages which occurred when the peninsula was suddenly cut off from the mainland with the resumption of hostilities between government forces and Tamil Tigers, he said.
The fighting led to the closure of the highway to Jaffna in August 2006 forcing the government and private sector to rely on cargo ships to send most of the requirements of the people in the peninsula.
“Now we have nine vessels sailing to Jaffna, three chartered by the CGES, and six operated by th