Saturday, March 14, 2009

First consignment of Jaffna produce arrives in Colombo

Colombo, 14 March, ( The first consignment of Jaffna produce was transported to Colombo via the A- 9 highway and reached Colombo yesterday.

The consignments comprised red onions, beet roots, dry shrimps and delicious crabs and prawns, famed for their quality have found their way to Colombo markets once again after the first convoy of 22 lorries reached Colombo along the Jaffna – Colombo A-9 road Thursday (12) evening.

The Colombo-bound convoy after its ceremonial start from the Government Food Store in Navatkuli in Jaffna Thursday (12) morning after an absence of two decades, reached Elephant Pass at about 10 a.m. Leading Jaffna businessmen according to Hindu traditions, garlanded the lorries carrying their inaugural harvest to Colombo before the fleet left the Navatkuli store.

A total of 48,250 kg of fresh red onions, 1318 kg of beet root, 4750 kg of crabs and prawns and 5750 kg of dry shrimps and prawns on those 22 vehicles were received on the way at Elephant Pass, Omanthai and Medavachchiya before the fleet completed the rest of its historic mission towards Colombo.

Those consignments are to be distributed through Government Cooperative stores and CWE stalls after stocks were received by the government warehouse in Welisara.

The same convoy on 10th March 2009 reached Jaffna with a consignment of various food items, taken from Colombo... That stock contained 100 MT of dhal, 100 MT of sugar, 70 MT of vegetable oil, 60 boxes of orange, 132 boxes of pineapple, 97 boxes of apple, 10 boxes of grapes, 7 boxes of ginger and 10 boxes of mandarin orange.

Jaffna District Secretary K. Ganesh on Tuesday (10) received those stocks during a brief ceremony at Navatkuli... Army troops who escorted the convoy to Jaffna. handed over documents, connected to the delivery of those stocks to Ganesh. A representative gathering of Jaffna businessmen also witnessed the delivery.

“This consignment came on return from Jaffna following the 22 Lorries which were sent to Jaffna last Saturday with the essentials which was also the first time that food and essentials were transported where the return cargo came in 12 Lorries, Deputy Commissioner General of Essential Services N.B. Liyanarachchi told Asian Tribune.

The cargo which was 12 Lorries filled and vegetables, onions, fish and dry fish and is now at the CWE stores at Welisara from which traders are effecting purchases, he said.

“The cargo which was sent to Jaffna was coordinated by Laksathosa (Lanka Sathosa Ltd) a wholly owned subsidiary of the Cooperative Wholesale Establishment.

The initial cargo which was sent to Jaffna had 265 tonnes comprised 100 tonnes of dhal, 100 tonnes of sugar, and 65 tonnes of vegetable oil, and fruits included apples, and oranges. The transport was arranged by the Ministry of Nation Building and the funding from the UN World Food Program, Laksathosa’s Director (Operations) Mrs P. Wijetilleke told Asian Tribune.

Meanwhile the CGES Deputy Commissioner of Essential Services said that the two vessels which were chartered from Mercantile Shipping Ltd which had completed 75 trips had now been released after the opening of the A9.

Another stock of 500 tonnes of rice, sugar, dhal, vegetables including onions and potatoes and vegetable oil were scheduled to be unloaded in Mullativu today while a recent shipment of 500 tonnes of wheat flour was downloaded was also downloaded there, he said.

“There are ample stocks of petrol, diesel and kerosene in the Jaffna peninsula which is handled by the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and which has been transported by ship until the land route was opened”, he said.