SLA denied transport to Vaharai injured for 3 hours- Elilan
[TamilNet, Thursday, 09 November 2006, 11:56 GMT]
Sri Lankan Army (SLA) has not only killed 42 civilians and injured more than 122 others in Kathiravely in LTTE controlled Batticaloa district but has violated all humanitarian norms by delaying giving permission to ambulances to take the injured to the hospital, S Elilan, the Political Head of LTTE for Trincomalee district said Wednesday.
S. Elilan, Trincomalee Political Head of the LTTE
S. Elilan, in an interview to media, provided details of the Vaharai killings.
"SLA has carried out shell attack towards Kathiravely area with Multi Barrel Rocket Launchers (MBRL) and artillery from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm Wednesday. 42 people including children were killed and more than 122 were injured in this non-stop attacks.
The attack was directed on Kathiravely Vigneswara Vidyalayam and its environs where Internally Displaced People (IDP) from Muttur area were housed, and people affected in tsunami catastrophe in 2004 from Vaharai and Kathiravely area were settled temporarily in makeshift cottages and tents.
"This is the fifth continous day the SLA has shelled this area. Three people were killed and eight others have been injured in these attacks before today's tragedy.
"Bodies of all killed in today’s attack were kept at Vaharai Government hospital for identification. Most of the injured are wounded seriously and the facilities at Vaharai hospital are inadequate to provide proper care to all the injured.
"On our request, the officials of the Committee of the International Red Cross societies (ICRC) are moving them to Batticaloa Teaching hospital for treatment.
"We have already informed the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) about this tragedy and the officials, have contacted the Sri Lanka Forces for permission to visit the scene. They had earlier informed us that SLA had denied permission to visit the area. However, later they informed us that they obtained the permission and now they are on their way to Kathiravely. We want them to witness the scene of the tragedy," Elilan said.
When asked whether the Cease Fire Agreement (CFA) was still in force in Trincomalee district, he said, "As far as we are concerned the CFA is no more in force in Trincomalee district and the Sri Lanka military continues the attacks without any concern for civilians.
"More than 36,000 of people who were displaced from Muttur and took refuge in Vaharai area, are facing enormous difficulties and fear for their lives. We have informed the SLMM officials in Trincomalee district several times about the threats of military attacks and the plight of the people. Since nothing happened, we have now started working with SLMM officials in Batticaloa district."
Commenting on the attacks on IDPs from Trincomalee district, he said, "The Government has already blocked the relief assistance to the IDPs in Vaharai area. They were provided dry rations under the United Nation’s World Food Program (WPP) and that was too stopped for three weeks. Shelling has continued for 5 days. The main access route to Vaharai, the A-15 road, remains closed and other Non Governmental Organizations (NGO) are unable to bring the relief items to the area," Elilan said.
"We have already taken up the matter with the ICRC, which traditionally gives escorts to the food convoys, and other UN bodies, and they are too not in a position to do any thing as SLA routinely denies permission.
"The shortage of food is criticaland the people are in the brink of starvation," Elilan said.
"When the attack began around 11:00 am, there was an ambulance at Vaharai hospital. When people tried to go to the hospital using the ambulance, SLA first refused and later gave permission only after 2:00 p.m," Elilan told the press.