Unlike in the previous conflict conditions, Jaffna civilians are determined to stay back in their own homes despite LTTE attempts to create chaos in the Peninsula, Chief Coordinator of Civil Affairs Colonel L.C. Perera said.
Col. Perera elaborating on the current situation in the Peninsula, told the Daily News that civilians in the Jaffna peninsula were extremely fed up with the LTTE`s attitude.
`The Jaffna people now realise that the outfit is not going to deliver anything constructive but only destruction. When clashes began two weeks ago, there was fear among the people about what was going to happen.
However, the Armed Forces in the Peninsula handled the situation in a professional manner and paved the way for civilians to lead a normal life. There were food, fuel and medicine shortages but the situation improved with the arrival of the ship carrying food items on Friday,` Col. Perera said.
According to Col. Perera, the Government is determined that civil administration should function smoothly and civilians must be well protected without leaving room for the LTTE malicious campaign.
The ship carrying essential food and medicinal items arrived at the entry-exit terminal of the Point Pedro harbour on Friday at 7 a.m.
Nearly 1,800 tons of food and medical items were unloaded at the harbour. The essential items were dispatched immediately to the Multi C-1 Purpose Coorporative Society outlets throughout the Peninsula. Jaffna Government Agent K. Ganesh told the Daily News with the arrival of the ship, the food situation has improved in the Peninsula.
However, he insisted that the continuity of the supply must be maintained to overcome the shortages. The Jaffna GA pointed out that the population of Jaffna was 575,000 and there should not be any breakdown in the supply of the essential items such as food, fuel and medicine.
Col. Perera said the LTTE was expecting the civilians to flee their own places and create a scene that the situation in the Peninsula was destructive.
`But the civilians are wiser and do not dance to the LTTE tune,` Col. Perera said.
The curfew in the Jaffna district has now been relaxed. The Civil Coordinator said he was planning to re-open schools today for the third term.
Meanwhile, the Government Agent coordinating with the Security Forces made arrangements for the first batch of 150 persons stranded in the peninsula to travel to Trincomalee on Saturday.
According to the Jaffna Government Agent, nearly 9,000 persons who have come from abroad and other parts of the country are stranded in the Peninsula.
The Government Agent said fisher families in the coastal areas have been affected. Measures have been taken to provide immediate relief assistance to them.