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Sri Lanka's Genocidal War - '95 to '01
15,000 Tamils seek refuge in schools & temples...
"... the (Sri Lanka) Army launched Operation Rivi Bala (Sun Power) in northern Vanni on 4 December 1998 and took control of 50 sq. mile territory around Oddusuddan, 30 miles north-east of Vavuniya.... The advance was accompanied by heavy artillery shelling...
Over 15,000 people fled from Oddusuddan seeking refuge in schools and temples in Pulbukudyiruppu, l l miles north. According to Vanni Government Agents (GA) over 9,280 refugees were accommodated in ten schools. Heavy monsoon rains have brought further misery to the fleeing refugees. Two tanks in Kilinochchi overflowed in early December displacing over 250 more families.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says that a large number of people have been affected by floods in Mullaitivu District. According to the GAs, around 70% of the currently displaced people had been displaced from other areas earlier. Many now live in the open under trees without food or drinking water.
Further displacement means more problems in the Vanni. The government cut food supplies to the displaced people in the Vanni by 57%., that is from 440,000 recipients to 190,000 from 1 July....
Around 720 people who remained in Oddusuddan were interrogated at the Thanthondreeswarar temple for possible LTTE links and were thereafter sent to refugee camps in Vavuniya, further south. Press reports say women pleaded with the ICRC to ascertain the fate of 600 men missing after the Army capture of the Oddusuddan area....
Five farmers on their way to the fields were shot dead by the Army on Nedunkerni Road in Mullaitivu District an 21 December. Four refugees were injured by Army shells in Katchilaimadu and in Ganeshapuralm. As shelling continued. cooperative union food stores were forced to shift to areas further north.... (British Refugee Council Publication, Sri Lanka Monitor, December 1998)