Buried mines prevent rehabilitation of Mulliaitivu hospital

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 16 September 2003, 11:50 GMT]
Uncleared landmines surrounding the Mullaitivu district hospital are preventing rehabilitation work on the destroyed buildings from proceeding, said health officials in Mullaitivu.

Mullaitivu town was occupied by the Sri Lanka Army after their offensive 'Operation Sea Breeze' in 1990. The hospital buildings were completely destroyed during this offensive.

In 1996, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) recaptured Mullaitivu when they launched operation 'Unceasing Waves I.' Following the recapture, former residents resettled and government offices began to function. The hospital then began to treat patients in makeshift buildings.

During the current ceasefire, some funds for reconstructing the hospital have been allocated, said the hospital's director, Dr. A. Ahilan.

Booby traps were found when the shrub jungles surrounding the hospital were cleared in a volunteer effort directed by Dr. A. Ahilan, and subsequently, clearing work has been stopped. Only after the area is completely cleared of mines and booby traps can the hospital start its reconstruction, said Dr. Ahilan.

He said however that the de-mining is likely to cost a large sum of money.

 

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