10:02 PM

Declare assets in the Wanni

The Disaster Management Ministry has directed all NGOs and INGOs operating in the Wanni and other uncleared areas to submit details of their movable and immovable assets in the region.
This directive has been made in order to determine as to what action the government should take to prevent them from going into LTTE hands.

It has been reported that at least 40 SUVs (Special Utility Vehicles) belonging to Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) had gone missing in the Wanni region recently and believed to be in the hands of the LTTE. Earlier, several heavy equipment and machinery left behind by the NPA had also been taken over by the LTTE. This equipment had been used for de-mining by the Norwegians in the Wanni region

Highly placed government sources told The Nation that the NPA had been specifically told that, vehicles taken into the Wanni for humanitarian work, should not be be used for any military purpose. They had also been told that, since it is difficult to engage in humanitarian work in the area, owing to the ongoing operations, such vehicles should be brought back to non conflict areas. The government had also told the representatives of the NPA that, they should exert international pressure on the LTTE to refrain from using such vehicles for military or other purposes and return them immediately. According to government sources, NPA officials had given a guarantee that they would pursuade the LTTE to return those vehicles.

NGO sources in Colombo told The Nation that, if the LTTE decides to use these SUVs, white in colour, for their operations in the region, their (the NGOs) humanitarian missions will be in jeopardy, since all the SUVs will become targets of the security forces.

Meanwhile, Essential Services Commissioner General S.B. Divaratne, had decided to restrict the supply of fuel to the INGOs operating in the Wanni.

In a letter addressed to several INGOs, the Divaratne has requested them to submit details pertaining to their projects/activities undertaken in the uncleared areas, including location of the project and number of vehicles, machinery used etc.

The letter further states thus: “It is informed that due to ongoing operations in the north, it would be difficult for the NGOs/INGOs to implement the projects they have undertaken in the uncleared areas. Further, it is also reported that, a large number of vehicles, machinery, equipment, belonging to the NGOs /INGOs had been robbed by the LTTE for their use.
Under the circumstances, this information is required in order to reassess the request made for the issuance of fuel for future demands of your organisation.”