‘Our people are suffering’: St. Patrick’s Rector

[TamilNet, Friday, 08 September 2006, 11:31 GMT]
Saying food supplies were “urgently” needed in the Jaffna peninsula, the Rector of St. Patrick’s College this week called for the A9 highway to be opened and military restrictions on fishing to be lifted. Fr. Justin B Gnanapragasam also called for the military’s curfew in Jaffna to be lifted or at least confined to night time. “Our people are suffering immensely. Please keep them in your prayers,” he said in a letter to past pupils. Five thousand displaced people who sought shelter in St. Patrick’s are refusing to leave, disrupting classes which should have resumed by now, he said.

“The security situation [here] is very highly unpredictable and fearful,” the Rector said in his letter dated last Sunday.

“At least 3-5 people are killed daily. Disappearance is also taking place. At least 57, including a Catholic Priest, Fr. N. Jim Brown, have disappeared”

“[There is] daily curfew with a few hours of break. It is still in force from 5pm to 7 am. This has curtailed the regular social life of the people,” he said.

“Most of the telephones have been cut off for various reasons and people are experiencing isolation due to lack of communications.”

The Closure of A9 has created the worst for the people. Families are stranded without transport to the South. Food items have become very scarce.”

“Fishing is prohibited for the last three weeks and the fishermen are affected very badly by this.”

“Though the government’s assurance of dry ration to these people is in the air, yet none have been issued with sufficient amount of dry ration for their living.”

“Foreigners working for the NGOs have left the place except for ICRC and the UN branches. They too have a minimum staff working with them.”

He said 5,000 people from neighbouring villages (Kurunagar, Thirunagar and Passiyoor) began arriving in the school on August 11 whenheavy fighting broke out between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan armed forces further south at Muhamalai.

“They began to occupy the classrooms by breaking the locks, and in some cases the doors were broken completely. They started occupying the entire building including the former Upper School.”

“As usual, they chopped the classroom furniture and used them as firewood. We were able to save some by taking them to the upper floors of Mathews Block,” the Rector said.

“These IDPs are still occupying the classrooms and the verandahs as well,” he said.

“Water is supplied from our well and the toilets get blocked every week or so. Electricity too is provided by the college. The UNHCR is able to assist us with the sanitation of the camp.”

“[Three weeks later] there is no sign of them leaving the College for us to clean it up and conduct classes.”

School reopened for the Third Term on August 31. There was a small number (200) of students on the first day. On the second day, the number on roll increased to 320 and, on the 3rd day to 435 (the total being 1800).”

“We are expecting the number to incrase in the coming week but we will not have the classrooms ready for them. We are making use of the Long Bock, at the moment, for the few students who turned up last week.”

“Cleaning and having the classes ready for the students will only take place after the IDPs leave the place. When will that be? We do not know.”


Latest 15 Reports
04.02.24 15:40   Photo
சியோனிசம் காணும் தோல்வி ஈழத்தமிழருக்குப் பலன் தரவல்ல படிமை மாற்றத்தின் அறிகுறி
24.04.22 05:44  
தீவின் நெருக்கடிச் சூழலில் ஈழத்தமிழர் தேசம் கடைப்பிடிக்கவேண்டிய நிலைப்பாடுகள்
09.04.22 14:44   Photo
குறிதவறும் ஈழத்தமிழர் தலைமைகளுக்கு வரலாறு தருகின்ற எச்சரிக்கை
21.01.22 07:24   Photo
ஈழத்தமிழர் தேசத்தின் தலைமைத்துவம் தேர்தல் அரசியற் கட்சிகளுக்கு அப்பாலானது
02.11.21 15:32   Photo
13 ஆம் சட்டத்திருத்தத்தால் கட்டமைக்கப்பட்ட இன அழிப்பை எதிர்கொள்ள முடியுமா?
15.09.21 08:19  
English version not available
17.05.21 19:23   Photo
Ananthi blames war criminal Silva for blocking collective memorial at Mu'l'livaaykkaal
09.04.21 14:46  
English version not available
23.03.21 12:41   Photo
No focus on Tamil genocide, geopolitics gets played out in Geneva in favour of QUAD formation
21.03.21 13:34   Photo
Navi Pillay explains ‘human rights’ limitations in Geneva on Tamil genocide
15.03.21 20:36   Photo
Deceived Tamil activists in UK falsely claimed ‘substantial changes’ to Zero draft
09.03.21 21:34   Photo
UK repeatedly wronged Tamils says hunger-striker, demands genocide justice
26.02.21 11:53   Photo
Tamils witness false dilemma in Geneva as geopolitical formations pit against each other
19.02.21 14:02   Photo
UK not prepared to push for ICC option in new UNHRC Resolution
07.02.21 23:16   Photo
Unprecedented P2P uprising paves the way for rights-oriented politics of Tamils and Muslims
Find this article at: