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Sri Lanka's Genocidal War - '95 to '01
"After a number of bombing raids by the Sri Lankan Airforce in northern Vanni in March resulted in death and destruction, Jaffna Bishop Thomas Savundaranayagam urged President Chandrika Kumaratunge not to target populated areas and safeguard civilians in the region.
The Airforce and the Navy have continued to assault the eastern coastal areas of Mullaitivu District, which is under the control of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Villages on the isthmus connecting the Jaffna peninsula and the mainland have also come under attack.
The Sri Lankan Airforce celebrated its Golden Jubilee at Ratmalana, 8 miles south of Colombo, on 9 March. President Chandrika, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, participated in the event and urged Airforce personnel to ensure the safety of civilians during military operations.
But in a six-hour operation on 21 March, Airforce planes bombed the areas around Chundikulam, 13 miles north-east of Kilinochchi, killing four civilians at Kurusady. Eleven people were seriously wounded at Puthumathalan and Kurusady. Twenty to houses were destroyed while fishing equipment and boats were damaged. Thousands of people have fled to Ananthapuram, Iranaipalai and Puthukudyiruppu, seeking refuge. Local NGOs say that the people were unable to take the wounded immediately to hospital because of continued airstrikes.
Nallathanithoduvai village near Chundikulam is almost wiped out. Bombing raids and Navy shelling have damaged or destroyed 300 of the 320 houses in the village. According to Grama Sevaka (Village Headman) V Kannappamurthy, nine people have been killed and 13 others injured.
As hundreds of people demonstrated on 26 March in Puthukudyiruppu and Mallavi against the bombing and handed a petition to the UNHCR to be sent to the UN Secretary General, the Airforce struck at Pooneryn, 15 miles north-west of Kilinochchi. Fisherman Stanislaus Romy died of shock during the raid. Kilinochchi’s civil society organisations have written to human rights agencies, including Amnesty International, to prevail upon the Sri Lankan government to respect international humanitarian standards. Reports say that Airforce planes also bombed rice fields in Thoppigala and Miyankulam in Batticaloa District, destroying paddy and farmers’ huts. Military officers claim that the Airforce targeted LTTE’s Beirut Base in Kokkaddicholai... " (British Refugee Council, Sri Lanka Monitor, March 2001)