A consignment of 1,680 tonnes of food and relief material from India is expected to reach the Sri Lanka this weekend as part of humanitarian aid for thousands of civilian Tamils caught in the war between the LTTE and the island nation's Army.
The Indian humanitarian assistance would be the first of its kind in nearly two decades, though New Delhi provided medical and other assistance to Sri Lanka after the 2004 devastating tsunami that killed thousands of people.
"A sum of 1,680 tonnes of relief is being dispatched from India after proper checking and inspection and is expected to reach Sri Lanka by this week end," an official said.
The aid comes as international agencies grapple to provide food an estimated two lakh Tamil civilians who are displaced due to the offensive against LTTE by the Lankan Army.
Sri Lanka had accepted India's offer to send relief material to the affected civilians in the north of the island during a meeting between External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Basil Rajapaksa, Special Adviser to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, in October.
It was also decided at that time that the Tamil Nadu government will also mobilise relief material to the affected civilians.
The worst hit is Kilinochchi, where the Sri Lankan troops have reportedly captured several areas in the LTTE stronghold leaving hundreds of civilians displaced.
According to the Government Agent (GA) in Kilinochchi, the total number of IDPs in the district continues to increase following ongoing confrontations in Poonakary division as well as aerial bombardments recently reported in Paranthan.