Private Space

Chandi Dharmaratne

Sept 20 (LBO) – The government has offered private traders space on board state chartered vessels carrying food to war torn Jaffna on possible commercial terms, to build up a buffer stock ahead of monsoon rains in November that would make passage difficult.

The government has been sending essential food items like rice to the North by sea, after the A9 highway, which links the northern Jaffna peninsula to the South, through the rebel held Vanni area, was closed.

Five ships, carrying roughly 3000 tons of food each, supplied by the government on humanitarian grounds, have reached the North to date.

Food like flour from the Singaporean Prima factory and some sugar has also been carried from Trincomalee on Sri Lanka™s east coast to the Northern parts of the island.

The Commissioner General of essential services wishes to offer space to private individuals, private traders, non-governmental organisations and other co-operative societies to send food items and other cargo required for the general public of Jaffna by ship, a public notice said Wednesday.

A top official with the Commissioner General™s office said the space would be offered on the next voyage, possibly on commercial terms that are still being worked out.