Govt. doing everything possible to ease sufferings of IDPs – Bathuideen

The Commissioner General of Essential Services S. B. Divaratne yesterday said that though the ground situation did not permit a food convoy to reach civilians trapped by the LTTE amidst the heavy fighting, the Government is counting on the WFP to take a convoy to a safe zone in Suganthipuram area of Udayarkattu somehow this week.

He said that despite the LTTE having heavily mined the area beyond Pudukudirruppu, President Mahinda Rajapaksa was extremely concerned that a WFP food convoy should be dispatched without delay. Minister of Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services, Rischard A. Bathuideen said that the Government was doing everything possible to ease the suffering of the displaced people. The CGES who is also Presidential advisor said that inspite of the cowardly attacks by the LTTE, the number of Tamils fleeing from their clutches had increased to 30,000 by yesterday afternoon.

He said that it was wrong for anyone to say that the Government had stopped food convoys when approval had been granted to the WFP to take a 30 to 40 vehicle food convoy in consultation with the Security Forces Commanders in the Vanni.

He admitted that food convoys had not gone in after January (29), and that this was the time when the Government looked forward to fullest support of officials from the World Food Programme to take a convoy.

"I am constantly in touch with Mullaitivu District Secretary Mrs. Emelda Sukumarand, District Secretary Vavuniya, Mrs. P. S. M. Charles and officials of the WFP."

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