Tamils - a Trans State Nation..

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Home > Tamils - a Trans State Nation  > Struggle for Tamil Eelam > Indictment against Sri Lanka Sri Lanka's Genocidal War '95 to 01: Introduction & Index > the Record Speaks...


Sri Lanka's Genocidal War - '95 to '01

300,000 Tamils displaced in the Vanni says International Red Cross

 "On 13 May 1997 the Sri Lankan armed forces launched a large-scale military  operation in the north of the country. Ground troops, armoured vehicles,  artillery and air support were employed with the aim of re-opening a  supply route to the Jaffna peninsula across the LTTE-controlled Vanni  region, as well as recovering some of the rebel-held territories in the  area.  The ICRC calls for greater respect for international humanitarian law.

.... Prior to the offensive and once hostilities had resumed, an estimated  20,000-30,000 civilians abandoned their homes, thereby increasing the  large population of internally displaced people in the region. Over the  last two years 40 per cent of the population in the Vanni, roughly  300,000 people, have been displaced.

Tamil Child in the VanniIn recent months, a large proportion  of them have been living in difficult conditions owing to the ongoing  military operations and the restrictions imposed on the region. Since the  beginning of the offensive, government food convoys to the Vanni have  ceased and discussions are currently under way between government agents  and the authorities on how to resume the convoys....

 From the ICRC's sub-delegation in Mallavi and a local office in  Puttukhudiyiruppu, seven expatriates and 33 locally recruited staff have  been working in the Vanni region. In preparation for possible  emergencies, the ICRC built up a stock of non-food relief items to attend  to the immediate needs of some 10,000 people.

On 17 May delegates  distributed plastic sheeting, cooking material and hygiene items to 400  newly displaced families in the Omanthai, Pulyankulam and  Puttukhudiyiruppu areas. By 26 May the number of displaced receiving ICRC  assistance had increased to 2,500 families.

 Through its direct support to six mobile health teams run by the Sri  Lanka Red Cross Society, the delegation has provided basic medical  assistance to the resident and displaced population and transferred  patients to local hospitals when necessary. If the existing facilities  cannot cope with future developments, the ICRC is prepared to extend its  scope to include medical evacuations south of the front lines.

 On 17 May emergency medical supplies were distributed to the hospitals of  Mallavi, Akkarayan and Mullaittivu. In addition, the ICRC supplied 50  beds and 100 mattresses to the Vavuniya hospital. A six-month supply of  basic drugs weighing approximately one tonne plus 50 standard dressing  sets left yesterday for Vavuniya and should cross the front line today.

 The ICRC is conducting a water and sanitation programme throughout the  Vanni with the aim of providing clean and safe water to the region's  inhabitants. The ongoing projects will be adapted to possible new needs  in order to avoid the spread of disease among large concentrations of  newly displaced people. To date, 35 water and sanitation projects have  been completed.

 The ICRC has reinforced its office in Vavuniya by transferring some staff  from Anuradhapura. A team of four delegates now provides relief  assistance, tracing services and medical support for the displaced Tamil  population living in areas bordering the road which has recently fallen  under government control. Similar assistance was provided to some of the  Singhalese also affected by the conflict. Some 600 families have  benefited from the ICRC's programmes...." (from Update No. 97/01 on ICRC activities in Sri Lanka, 30 May 1997)



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