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HomeTamils - a Nation without a State > Struggle for Tamil Eelam  >  Human Rights & the Tamil People >Tamil Centre for Human Rights (TCHR) > Tsunami - Northeast death toll rises to 12200


Tamil Centre for Human Rights (TCHR)
North East death toll rises to 12,200
No relief or assistance received from government or international community
Ref : DR011/UA/2004 28 December 2004

[see also Tsunami & the People of Tamil Eelam ]

TRO contacts :

Telephone : + 94 112 693254 (Colombo)

Telephone : + 94 21 228 3947 (Killinochi)

Website : www.troonline.org
Email : [email protected]


HEAD OFFICE: Tamil Centre for Human Rights - TCHR/CTDH
9, rue des Peupliers - 95140 Garge les Gonesse - FRANCE
Contact person : S. V. Kirubaharan – General Secretary
Fax: + 33 1 40 38 28 74 - Email: [email protected]  / [email protected]

Tamil Centre for Human Rights - TCHR/CTDH
PO Box 182, Manchester M16 8ED, UNITED KINGDOM
Contact person : Deirdre McConnell – Director International Programme
Fax: + 44 161 860 4609 - Email: [email protected]  / [email protected]

Tamil Centrum voor Mensenrechten- TCHR
Steelingmolen 43
1703 TE Heerhugowaard, THE NETHERLANDS
Contact person : Sinniah Indiran

Fax : + 31 - 72 - 57 15 801
Email : [email protected] 

A massive human tragedy has been caused by the tsunami tidal waves, which devastated much of the coastline of Southern and South East Asia on 26th December 2004. The media has calculated the figure of lives lost as approaching 28,000, and this is said likely to rise steeply. The tidal waves affected Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Somalia and Sri Lanka.

Natural disasters have taken place in many parts of the world and caused massive human tragedies. Wherever these have occurred – the international community, international aid agencies and international NGOs have acted promptly and managed to give support to the victims.

In this latest tragedy, the island of Sri Lanka is one of the countries worst affected. Certain media stated that more than 12,500 people were killed in the island and 800,00 have been displaced.

However TCHR sources have so far confirmed the death toll in the North East as 12,200 and the injured as more than 11,100. The death figure is likely to increase as the rescue and recovery operations are still underway in the affected villages in the North, East. Rescue operations continue also in the Southern part of the island.

Seventy foreign nationals who were holidaying on the island also lost their lives in this natural disaster.

In the districts of Colombo, Panadura, Kalutara, Hambantotta, Galle and Matara in the South, 2000 people have died due to the tsunami.

In the North, in the villages of Mullaithivu District, including Thalayadi 1,700 people have been killed; 3,800 are injured; 4,500 are missing and 97,000 people are displaced. In Vadamarachi East 2,000 people have died; 1,800 are injured, however TCHR has not been able to confirm numbers of displaced in this region.

In the East in Amparai, 5,700 people have died; 20,000 are displaced, TCHR is unable to confirm the numbers of those injured. In Batticaloa over 2,000 have died; 2,100 are injured; 2,000 are missing and 118,000 are displaced. In Trincomalee 800 have died; 3,400 have been injured and 137,000 are displaced. More than fifty villages in the North East have been completely devastated by the tsunami tidal waves. Many of the victims have been women and children. Fifty children in an orphanage in Ninthavur, Batticaloa perished instantly. 133 children in Muttur town alone were killed.

On 27 December 2004 the Sri Lankan government appealed through its embassies for international emergency assistance. Countries in the European Union, the USA, India, Russia, Israel and several other countries and international NGOs responded, sending assessment teams and emergency supplies.

According to TCHR sources in Colombo, the devastation and loss of life caused by the tidal waves in the North East have not received much media coverage. The Colombo media, especially TV and daily newspapers in English and Singhalese have failed to give a breakdown of the casualty and fatality figures, thus in effect putting a news block on the tragic reality as experienced in the North East. They also pointed out that the international help rendered to Sri Lanka has not reached the affected people in the North East.

A doctor in a hospital in the East said that no assistance has been received yet to cope with the disaster. He said the bodies of at least five thousand people from four villages alone, had been buried in the last two days. He urgently appealed for antibiotics, Anti-tetanus, toxides, infant food and all types of clothing. He explained that there is panic among the thousands of wounded, since the hospital is rapidly running out of first aid equipment and medicine, appealing for assistance before time runs out for the seriously injured, particularly children. The doctor further said that putrefaction of hundreds of bodies buried in the sands by the retreating tidal wave is posing a major health hazard.

Many Tamil parliamentarians have openly criticised the way the government is handling the situation in the North East, saying that the government is "callously ignoring the plight of thousands in the North East hit by Tsunami”.

According to TCHR sources in Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Amparai and the North, help from neither the government nor any international NGOs has yet reached those areas where people are in dire need of international assistance.

Mr. Joseph Pararajasingham, Member of Parliament who took part in a conference on Monday 27 December on urgent disaster management convened by Sri Lanka's Prime Minister stated that the nonchalant attitude of the government and Sinhala parties towards the suffering in the Northeast is "appalling".

Mr. Pararajasingham further said that "the devastation and destruction in the northeast was discussed for not more than five minutes during the two hour conference on the Tsunami disaster management for all Parliament parties called by the Prime Minister at his residence.

“In fact the situation in the Northeast was taken up only after I raised the issue. They simply were not bothered about the plight of the people in the North East.

"The Tamil National Alliance - TNA has therefore decided to appeal to donor countries and agencies to help directly the Tamil and Muslim people whose lives have been destroyed by the Tsunami", Mr. Pararajasingham said.

As the government help failed to reach the North East areas, the Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation – TRO, which is presently helping the victims round the clock, is appealing for international help.

Their urgent requirements to attend to the immediate phase are : Food items including milk powder, precooked for 80,000 families - 3 meals for two weeks; clothing for women and children; medicine -paracetamol, anti biotics, dressings, suture material, disposable syringes etc; water purification tablets and water containers; 25,000 temporary shelters and 50 medical tents; non food items includes kitchen utensils, a hundred thousand mats and portable generators.



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