SL military turns back UN official at Oamanthai check-post on World Food Day

The occupying military of genocidal Sri Lanka on Thursday turned back the country representative for United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) at Oamanthai military check post in Vavuniyaa citing the lack of SL Defence Ministry pass to travel to North, civil sources in Vavuniyaa said. Ms Beth Crawford, the FAO representative for Maldives and Sri Lanka, invited as Special Guest to attend the World Food Day event organised by the Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society (MPCS) in Ki’linochchi, was unable to attend the event. Colombo has imposed a new restriction on foreigners traveling to North without Defence Ministry permission since last Friday.

The SL State waged the genocidal onslaught on Vanni in 2009 after ordering all foreign nationals belonging to NGOs, including the UN agencies, to leave the LTTE administered Vanni in 2008. The restrictions being applied now, aim at another phase of accelerated structural genocide against Eezham Tamils, said Tamil officials in Vavuniyaa.

After the end of Vanni war, the NGOs and UN agencies slowly gained access to assist to the resettling people, but they were later forced to wind up most of their offices in the North.

One of the ‘official reasons’ given to such withdrawal of the offices was that ‘Sri Lanka’ had become one of 86 countries ranked as ‘Middle Income Countries’ (MICs) according to the ‘World Development Indicators’ of the World Bank.

The international community has again failed to assess the situation in the North and East of the island, which is subjected to the long-term genocidal occupation, war and accelerated post-war structural genocide. Viewing the North and East with the same mechanisms and measures as that applied to the entire island, is a discriminatory, the civil officials further said. “Again, this failure by the international community has enabled Colombo to restrict the UN and other NGOs to access the Tamil homeland,” a Tamil official in Vavuniyaa said.

Until now, the foreign officials attached to the UN offices were conducting regular field visits to assess the humanitarian assistance programmes in the North.

The intelligence operatives of the SL State were always able to track the activities of the high profile foreign diplomats when they were visiting the North and East. But, the field officers and other officials attached to foreign missions were able to gather data and eyewitness reports to some extent, as they were able to access the area without advance notice. The latest ban also targets to curb such visits, the civil sources further said.

The FAO has been assisting the farmers and fishermen in the North with providing seeds, poultry, livestock, constructing wells and fisheries support. The FAO has also rehabilitated more than 100 tanks to facilitate livelihood for the resettling farmers in the North. The FAO has been focusing on food security and poverty alleviation this year.

16 October is marked worldwide as World Food Day in honour of the date in 1945 when the FAO was founded.

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