Demonstrators demand food and medicine in Mallavi

Place: Mallavi | Courtesy: TamilNet
| Date: 19970601

Many thousands of men, women and hungry children marched to the ICRC's Mallavi office to hand over an urgent memorandum calling for a halt to the government's food and medicine siege of Vanni.

The memorandum says the embargo is driven by racism against Tamils and intended to starve people into submission. Even "Kanchi" - water from boiled rice, added with salt - is not available in welfare centres anymore, the statement says. Whether president Kumaratunga will heed the desperate pleas of the starving Tamil population she is claiming to "liberate" remains to be seen. The twelve food lorries promised by the government - even if they materialise - will be ridiculously inadequate. A minimum of 50 food lorries a day is required to cater to the basic survival needs of Tamils in Vanni.