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Last updated: 14 January, 2007 - Published 14:00 GMT
 
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Food supplies arrive in Jaffna
 
Jaffna
Food has been scarse in Jaffna as violence escalated
A shipload of essential food items have arrived in Kankasanthurai port, Jaffna, authorities said.

Government officials said the second shipload to arrive to be distributed through Cooperative shops and other private trade outlets.

350 private shops have been selected by the Divisional Secretaries, Journalist Ponniah Manikkawasagam said.

The private outlets were instructed to match the prices of Cooperative shops in selling essential items.

Jaffna residents agreed the view of the authorities that there is an improvement in the food distribution.

"This week we received essential food items from Cooperative shops. But in the open market bottle of coconut oil still costs Rs. 1000," a Jaffna resident told journalist Manikkawasagam.

 This week we received essential food items from Cooperative shops. But in the open market bottle of coconut oil still costs Rs. 1000
 
Jaffna resident

Women however complained of the quality of rice being distributed.

"Kerosene oil is now available in Cooperative shops but the quality of White rice and Kora rice is not very good," a woman said.

Items like coriander, cumin seeds and soap are yet to be freely distributed, residents said.

Religious leaders and Human Rights activists warned of a humanitarian crisis in Jaffna as a result of the increased violence.

Tamil Tigers pulled out of talks as Sri Lanka government refused to re-open the supply route to Jaffna, A9 highroad.

The Government insisted on sending supplies via sea but the LTTE refused to ensure the safety of the ships transporting essential items.

 
 
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