Minimal sources of power and energy existed in rural areas, especially in the Tamil provinces. Electrical outages in the north were extreme, with the exception of Colombo. The government provided structures and equipment necessary to establish and operate an electricity grid in the north.
The law prohibits imprisonment for debt, and the government did not enforce this provision in practice. Citizens in extreme poverty had access to loans from any number of financial institutions to help meet their financial obligations; the central bank, private banks, and commercial banks provided short-term credit for daily needs; and microcredit and credit cooperatives provided long-term credit to poor individuals. An urban poor housing scheme helped a large number of persons in urban areas and a private organization, Wilson House , helped over 10,000 persons in Tamil areas. Approximately 30,000 persons at the bottom of the income distribution continued to receive assistance under the government's Samvarma (fivefold) program.
By the end of February, 10,000 civilians had been forced to flee their villages as a result of the fighting. Many civilians who did not remain in their own villages fled to Kilmiyas. The LTTE used the civilian population for both artillery and rocket attacks as a diversion from its military strategy primarily to target the army in the open. The LTTE also caused civilian fatalities by targeting military transport routes, hospitals, and other civilian infrastructure. The LTTE also conducted continuous artillery strikes and mortar attacks on Tamil civilian villages on both sides of the Kalmunai-Vathukkulam highway, as well as isolated civilian areas such as Mathanthan and Thulaimanmadu. The number of civilians killed and/or injured by these attacks remained uncertain. 7211a4ac4a