civilian refugees killed in Sri Lankan artillery attack, 8 November 2006
appalling that the military should attack a camp for displaced people" -
Amnesty International, 8 November 2006
Why doesn’t someone come and give us poison and kill us all – Vaharai people
didn’t fire from camp: Survivors says Sinhala owned Sri Lanka Daily
unprovoked says LTTE Peace Secretariat
Children’s Home in Vaharai attacked, 12 children injured - TRO, 8 November
தமிழ்ச்சோலை வானொலிக்கு நேற்று புதன்கிழமை (08.11.06) தமிழர் புனர்வாழ்வுக்
கழகத்தின் வாகரைப் பகுதி பணிப்பாளர் மூர்த்தி வழங்கிய நேர்காணல்(09.11.06)
bombs Vaharai, IDPs flee SLA shelling, 6 November 2006
residents face severe food shortage- MP, 6 November 2006
40 civilian refugees killed in Sri
Lankan artillery attack, 8 November 2006
Wednesday, 08 November 2006, 08:17 GMT]
Emergency Rescue workers in Vaharai say scores of civilians were
killed Wednesday around 11:35 a.m. when Sri Lanka Army fired Multi-Barrel
Rockets and artillery shells targeting Kathiraveli, a coastal hamlet 15 km north
of Vaaharai, hit a school where five thousand Internally Displaced People had
sought refuge. 40 dead bodies have been recovered. Six babies below 6-month were
killed, said medical sources stating that 30 dead bodies had been brought to
Vaaharai hospital. SLMM officials and the ICRC visited the area where more than
120 houses were severely damaged. An area with 2 km perimeter was
indiscriminately bombed. 60 severely wounded civilians were brought to
Valaichenai hospital. 2 civilians succumbed to their wounds while being
transferred to Valaichenai.
Many of the civilians wounded in were struggling without medical
facilities as the only hospital in Vaharai was also targeted by the artillery
attack. Patients in Vaharai hospital were forced to flee the hospital following
the attack. "An indiscriminate artillery and MBRL onslaught has continued for
more than 30 minutes on Kathiraveli Vigneswara Vidyalayam killing and wounding
tens of innocent IDPs," M. Raj, a TRO rescue worker said. The school is located
in a densely populated area.
Vaaharai region has been completely blocked for NGO access.
There was no transportation for patients to be treated, the emergency rescue
worker added. Around 1600 families were staying in the IDP camp located at
Kathiraveli school. Following the aerial and artillery attack on Paalchenai,
more than 2000 IDP persons had arrived at the school during the past 72 hours.
ICRC, SLMM and UNICEF were informed of the attack. Despite the information, they
were blocked by the Sri Lanka Army to enter the area, initial reports said.
Later, the officials managed to reach Vaharai. Panic striken people attempted to
block ICRC officials from leaving the area fearing further artillery attacks.
NGO workers in Vaharai said they were trying to transport wounded civilians
towards the entry/exit points although the SLA was initially not allowing the
wounded to be transported in public vehicles.
Later, the SLA soldiers cooperated with the ICRC in transporting the wounded to
Valaichenai and Batticaloa hospital. There is only a single ambulance vehicle
which is yet to return to Vaharai hospital. The massive artillery and MBRL
onslaught was launched while Sri Lanka Air Force reconnaissance aircrafts were
engaged in operation, according to the initial reports.
Amnesty International is appalled
AI Index: ASA
37/033/2006 (Public), 8 November 2006
Amnesty International is deeply concerned by reports of the
killing today of as many as 65 civilians taking refuge in a school in
Kathiraveli, a coastal hamlet 15 km north of Vaharai in the eastern district
The Sri Lankan Army (SLA) reportedly fired multi-barrel rockets and
artillery shells which hit a school where internally displaced people (IDPs)
were taking shelter. As many as 40 bodies are reported to have been
recovered from the scene and more than 100 have been wounded. It is likely
that many more may have been injured as the area targeted was densely
populated and inhabited by some 5000 IDPs.
Amnesty International is appalled that the military should
attack a camp for displaced people -- these were civilians who had already
been forced from their homes because of the conflict. Amnesty International
condemns all attacks on civilians and is particularly saddened and shocked
to see such a large-scale attack on civilians just days after the
government's announcement of its Commission of Inquiry into human rights
A Sri Lankan military spokesman has confirmed heavy
artillery and mortar bomb exchanges in Batticaloa district, but has accused
the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) of using civilians as human
shields. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that 60,646
people remained displaced in Batticaloa district alone, as of 23 October
2006, and over 200,000 have been displaced in the north and east of Sri
Lanka since 7 April 2006.
Amnesty International condemns the targeting and killing of
innocent civilians and calls on the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE to
take immediate and adequate precautions to protect civilian lives. All
parties to the hostilities must comply with international humanitarian law,
which prohibits murder or other violence to those taking no active part in
hostilities, requires parties to ensure that their forces comply with the
principle of distinction between civilian and military targets and do not
target civilians or carry out indiscriminate attacks.
Amnesty International calls on the Government of Sri Lanka
to initiate an immediate inquiry by international and independent human
rights experts into this incident and all serious violations of human rights
law and international humanitarian law. Amnesty International reiterates the
urgent need for the Government of Sri Lanka to establish a strong and
effective international human rights monitoring operation as a matter of
urgency to respond to the dramatic deterioration of the human rights and
humanitarian situation. Such a mechanism must have the full cooperation of
both the government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE and the support of the United
Nations and its member states.
Children’s Home in Vaharai attacked, 12 children injured - TRO
Wednesday, 08 November 2006, 11:07 ]
Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO), engaged in emergency
rescue work at the IDP camp in Kathiraveli school Wednesday evening, said TRO’s
Sonobo Children’s Home located close to the school was also attacked by SLA
artillery. 12 children were wounded. Forty bodies have been recovered including
6 babies between the ages of 3 and 6 months, the TRO statement said. 76 persons
have been admitted to the hospital. Full text of the press statement issued by
the TRO follows:
Over 100 Civilians dead and injured - School and Hospital
hit by Sri Lanka Army Multi-Barrel rocket and artillery attack
Over 100 persons have been killed or injured in an artillery (multi-barrel
rocket) attack by the Sri Lanka Armed Forces in Vaharai, Batticaloa
District. Forty (40) bodies have been recovered including 6 babies between
the ages of 3 and 6 months. 76 persons have been admitted to the hospital.
The multi-barrel rockets attack, which began at approximately 11:35 a.m. and
lasted for over 30 minutes, struck a school, Kathiraveli Vikneswara
Vidyalayam, Vaharai General Hospital and TRO’s Sonobo Children’s Home (12
children in the home were injured). There are over 5,000 internally
displaced persons (IDP) families in the immediate area. Most of the dead and
injured are IDPs from Muttur.
Sri Lanka Army personnel at the border checkpoint have refused to allow
seriously injured civilians to be transported to Batticaloa. Vaharai General
Hospital is the only functioning hospital in the area and patients and staff
were forced to flee to safety.
The school has been functioning as an IDP camp managed by TRO. There is a
lack of other appropriate shelter due to restrictions placed on the
transportation of building materials to the area by the Government of Sri
Lanka (GoSL). Since hostilities began in August, TRO has been caring for
over 45,000 IDPs in the Vaharai area. These IDPs lack adequate shelter,
food, fuel and other basic necessities.
TRO is the only NGO operating in the area due to GoSL restrictions on access
by international NGO personnel to LTTE-controlled areas. The GoSL is
requiring all international staff to apply for “work permits” (this is in
addition to the “work visas” they already possess). Thus far no work permits
have been approved by the GoSL for the LTTE-controlled areas. The UN and the
ICRC only have intermittent access to these areas.
TRO is providing medical assistance to the injured and traumatized
TRO urgently appeals to the UN and ICRC for assistance in transporting the
injured to hospitals for treatment
TRO also appeals to the Government of Sri Lanka to allow access by the UN,
ICRC, other humanitarian organizations and the SLMM. The restrictions on the
transportation of fuel imposed by the GoSL are hampering relief operations
and ambulance service.
LTTE didn’t fire from camp: Survivors,
Courtesy: Daily Mirror - November 10, 2006
The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission said yesterday there were no signs of the
existence of an LTTE military camp in the vicinity of the two schools which came
under attack from Government troops on Wednesday. SLMM acting spokeswoman Helen
Olafsdottir told the Daily Mirror the monitors had interviewed some of the
survivors of the incident and so far no one had provided evidence to suggest the
presence of a rebel military camp in the area. She said the survivors had also
not given any indication to suggest the LTTE may have fired from the area
towards the security forces before fleeing in anticipation of a retaliatory
response on the area. Meanwhile despite earlier reports of the attack in Vakarai
killing 60 civilians and injuring some 600 more the SLMM said it has seen only
23 bodies thus far while another 137 were receiving treatment at the Batticaloa
hospital. The ICRC which also visited the site said it had seen 23 bodies while
its officials also assisted in transporting 69 seriously injured civilians to
the Valaichchenai hospital for treatment.
Kithiraveli attack unprovoked – 45
dead, 125 injured says LTTE Peace Secretariat
Unprovoked attacked on refugees
45 civilians were killed and a further 125 civilians were
injured in the artillery shelling and Multi Barrel firing by Sri Lankan military
on a refugee camp in Kathiraveli in Trincomalee. The artillery shelling by the
Sri Lankan military began at 11.45 this morning and continued for several hours.
LTTE Sea Tiger vehicles assisted in the transport of the dead and injured to
Vaharai hospital where relatives identified their family members. Kathiraveli
was subjected to severe economic blockade by the Sri Lankan military and all
sorts of essential items are in short supply. The hospital too is badly
resourced and is struggling to cope with the large number of injured without
medicines and bandages. The Vaharai hospital was already struggling with
patients injured in the shelling over the past few days. The Sri Lankan military
has closed the Mankerni check point preventing even ambulances taking the
injured to the Batticaloa hospital.
The mindless and cruel attack on a helpless refugee population which has already
been subjected to blockades of all sorts of essential items is difficult to
understand. Is it possible that the Sri Lankan military’s intention was to teach
the Tamils the lesson that they, the military, can kill refugees in such
numbers, and no one can stop them? The timing of the attack, when the world
attention is focused on Iraq’s Sadam Hussein and the US elections, must have
also been selected to escape any international scrutiny of their methods.
Sri Lankan claim
Sri Lankan military spokesperson, Prasath Samarasinghe’s claim that their firing
at a refugee camp in Kathiraveli in Vaharai, killing 45 and injuring 125
civilians was in retaliation to LTTE firing is absolute fabrication. The refugee
camp that was attacked was housing about 1000 refugees as stated by the
Government Agent for the area, Punniyamoorthy. It was 12 Kms from the nearest
Forward Defense Line.
Prasath Samarasinghe boldly claims that the Sri Lankan military has demanded the
people to move out of Vaharai. In what context was such a demand made from
people living in an area that stretches 15 Kms ought to be questioned. What is
to be further noted is that pamphlets were distributed by the Sri Lankan
military to people asking them to move out of Vaharai area before 10th November.
People did scramble to leave the area but the Sri Lankan military kept the
Mankerni checkpoint closed thus preventing people leaving.
Then comes today’s mindless killing on 8th November by shelling directly into a
school turned refugee camp housing 1000 people. Only the Sri Lankan military can
have the audacity to then claim that they were only retaliating to LTTE fire.
SLAF bombs Vaharai, IDPs
flee SLA shelling
Monday, 06 November 2006, 11:42 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) launched artillery attacks from
Valaichenai SLA camp and Karadikulam SLA camp towards Vaharai intensified
since Sunday night amid troop deployment at Gajuwatte SLA camp. LTTE's
Military Spokesman Irasiah Ilanthirayan Monday said Sri Lanka Air Force
(SLAF) carried out 2 sorties of aerial bombardment in Paalchenai and
Vammivedduvan in Vaharai region in Batticaloa district Monday noon. "All
communication and transportation facilities towards Vaharai has been cut
off. Even the small amount of humanitarian supplies reaching the region
twice a week, has been blocked by the Sri Lankan military," Mr. Ilanthirayan
told TamilNet. Since 31st of October, there has been no humanitarian
supplies to the region, LTTE spokesman said citing officials in Vaharai
region that has been cut off.
"36 metric tons of basic suppiies are necessary for the region for a month.
Only 5000 kg rice and white flour were in stock as per Sunday," Mr.
Ilanthirayan said citing officials in Vaharai. "NGOs are blocked from the
area, even truce monitors are not allowed to make independent judgement of
the hostilities," he added. "Sri Lankan forces are using humanitarian crisis
as a tool of war and have intensified attacks forcing civilians to flee the
area," Tiger military spokesman said.
Mortar shells were fired from Mankerny SLA camp. Artillery shells were being
fired from Karadikulam and Valaichenai camps, he said. SLA fired artillery
shells hit 40th Mile Post, Sinnathaddumunai and Periyathaddumuani villages.
Meanwhile, civil sources at Sri Lanka Army (SLA) controlled areas south of
Vaharai said more than 200 families had reached SLA controlled areas
following intensive shelling.
Vaharai residents face
severe food shortage- MP
Monday, 06 November 2006, 01:14 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) troops of Mankerni Camp have refused
permission to transport food items beyond their check point into LTTE-
controlled Vaharai Region for more than a week, resulting in 43,000
civilians of the area facing acute shortage of essential food items,
P.Ariyanenthiran, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Member of Parliament,
Batticaloa District said in a communiqué issued to the press on Sunday.
Pointing out that civilians recently displaced from Trincomalee District are
also temporarily residing in the area, an estimated 36 metric tons (MT) of
food is required for the people of the area for a month, but only 16 MT food
was being sent to this area said Mr. Ariyanenthiran. Even this reduced
amount of food supply has been stopped recently, he added. The MP also has
complained that heavy rains have started and yet the Army has not permitted
the asbestos roofing to be taken into Vaharai.