Shelling amidst mini-cyclone and lashing rains, thousands stranded

[TamilNet, Monday, 09 March 2009, 13:43 GMT]
A lashing rain that started Sunday night became a mini-cyclone Monday severely causing misery to the already suffering civilians in the 'safe zone' in Mullaiththeevu. Amidst this catastrophe they were inhumanely attacked by the Sri Lanka Army shelling in which 71 civilians were killed within the last 36 hours, reports TamilNet correspondent from Vanni. The mini-cyclone blew away the temporary tarpaulin tents and the low land adjacent to sea coast where the people were herded became heavily flooded causing at least 20,000 families stranded. A person who witnessed shell hit killings told TamilNet correspondent with frustration that he was 'unfortunate to survive'.

Children drenched wet standing without shelter is a common sight. The bunkers have been flooded and people were seen sitting under boats turned over.

Two SLA-fired shells which came in parallel didn't explode but hit 3 people killing them on the spot in Maaththa'lan on Sunday. Two women, one sleeping and the other standing nearby were split by the force of the shell and the other victim was a man who was fixing his tent. 46 more civilians were killed inside the 'safe zone' in SLA shell explosions on Sunday, four of them were killed in front of the hospital.

SLA shelling continued even while the ICRC ship was anchored off the coast.

22 more civilians were reported killed until 6:00 p.m. on Monday.

Vegetables are completely unavailable and even onion leaves that were available for sometime are exhausted now. Due to rains and cyclone, there was no fishing either. Insufficient amounts of rice, dahl or gruel are what people eat now.

Thousands of IDPs staged a demonstration when the ICRC ship came Sunday afternoon, and handed over an appeal to the ICRC demanding food and medicine to be brought to meet the needs.


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