Mu'l'likku'lam villagers face starvation

[TamilNet, Friday, 07 September 2007, 05:29 GMT]
More than 500 Tamil civilians belonging to around 195 families in Sri Lanka Army (SLA) sieged Mu'l'likku'lam, a remote village in SLA occupied Musali division in Mannaar, have been sending SOS message through the few wireless phones in operation that all outside links were cut with their village for five days since September 01 and all food supplies have gone dry.

The SOS messages warn impending catastrophe if no help is offered before Friday noon as children are stricken with diarrhea and fever while there are no medical supplies or baby food.

The entire coastal village, located near Puththa'lam district has been cut off from its only transportation link to Chilaavaththu'rai which has been occupied by the SLA.

More than 4500 civilians from this area, except those from Mu'l'likku'lam, are displaced to Naanaaddaan division.

Due to the siege by the Sri Lanka Navy, no fishing boat is able to leave the dock.

All the attempts to send supplies or transportation facilities to the villagers to evacuate them to Mannaar, Murungkan or Vangkaalai have been barred by the SLA in Chilavaththu'rai despite assurance to Mannaar Bishop Rt. Rev. Rayappu Joseph and the civil authorities by the SLA commands in Tha'l'laadi and Uyilangku'lam.

Both SLA divisions are in charge of the military operation in Musali division.

Three options, initiated by the civil authorities to link up with the village were ruined.

The options, dropping dry supplies using helicopters, using boats to transport the civilians to Vangkaalai with the facilitation of ICRC and to send in supplies from Va'n'naaththivil in Puththa'lam district via Ilavangku'lam to the village, have been denied by the military.

The only way left to the starving civilians is to walk for 20 km to SLA occupied Chilaavaththu'rai, across the Deep Penetration Unit (DPU) Claymore attack site at Paasiththen'ral where 12 civilians were killed Saturday.

The meager supplies at the local branch of Musali Cooperative Society have been used up while the rest of the shops are empty of food and essential supplies.

Daily supplies to Mu'l'liku'lam were earlier transported by private shop owners from Mannaar using the passenger bus service.

Puththa'lam - Ma'richchukkaddi road has been inaccessible for Mu'l'likku'lam villagers since 1990. The road was earlier used to transport fresh fish catch, within a few hours, to the markets in Colombo from Chilaavaththu'rai.

Mu'l'likku'lam, bordering Puththa'lam district is located in 46 km south of Mannaar town, 36 km south of Vangkaalai and 20 km south of Chilaavaththu'rai.


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