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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HomeTamils - a Nation without a State > Struggle for Tamil Eelam  >  Human Rights & the Tamil People >Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO)



Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO)
தமிழர் புனர்வாழ்வுக் கழகம்

3 March 2009

Lawrence Christie, TRO Planning Director at work in the Vanni

11 March 2009  "On the Spot" Report

"...At any time shell may fall amidst you and your family. With screeching sound one sole shell will pass us and fall somewhere close by. It will fall with devastating effect. No one will expect this treacherous shell. You will be sleeping in your shelter. You may be on the road buying something. Children may be playing. Some may be having bath. That shell will fall among the crowded refugee population. Six or seven will fall dead. Scores will get injured. From this first shell no one knows how to escape. Before second shell falls all will be in the bunkers. Like parent rabbits and their kids scurrying to a hole when they saw a vulture parents dragging and lifting their children and hurry into the bunkers. After that, about 10 � 15 shells will fall in quick succession around the area. After that there will be a pause. They will come out and get into their usual chores. Again in half or one hour�s time suddenly without any warning shells will start falling causing casualties. This is the daily occurrence. It takes the toll of about 70 � 80 deaths and hundreds injured everyday This has become a routine � a way of life. Horror filled atmosphere. Waiting in anticipation of death with fear all over the body. Expecting the visit of Kaalan � god of time and death..."

4 March 2009 "On the Spot" Report

"..Hospital: Hospital has become a hell. Mathalan GTMS has been converted into a makeshift hospital. Every now and then the ambulances and TRO vehicles moving fast into the hospital compound and would screech to a halt. Hospital staff, Red Cross and TRO volunteers would be always there to receive the dead and wounded. The wounded would be immediately shifted from the vehicles as smoothly as possible and placed on a big carpet under a tree. Health volunteers with the assistance of doctors immediately would get into doing first aid and injecting saline. They would select the priority cases to be treated at once. Some cases were there � they can not be treated. Doctors were sure that with surgical items available here, medicines and expertise there was no hope and no chance for recovery. We saw a case � a young boy who was still alive. We asked the doctor why he can not be treated. Doctor put his whole finger into a hole on his head. He explained that a shell piece has penetrated through the scalp of his head and gone deep into his brain and has damaged it seriously. Even a neuro surgeon in a best hospital in the world can not cure him. How can we? We have to work without anesthesia and pethadin � drugs needed for surgery and amputations. He would die in some minutes.� In another case a pregnant woman with three month baby inside her womb was lying there - Her internal organs have been severely damaged � shell pieces have severed many vital parts of her stomach and womb. Her both breasts have been severed. Blood was fast flowing like many streams from the abdomen. There was no blood in the blood bank. She would die soon."

20 February 2009 "On the Spot" Report
1. Structured Humanitarian Work: After the population of over 300,000 have movedinto villages such as Puthu Mathalan, Pokkanai, Valaiyarmadam and Mullivaikal inMullaitivu district the health services divided these villages into six zones. TRO too wentalong with this delineation of boundaries and hick started its activities.

2. Provision of rice gruel: Famine is spreading fast with the non arrival of enough fooditems from the South by WFP. For a month to feed the IDP population the need is 695lorry loads - 6950 Metric Ton. 5100 MT Basic food items such as rice, flour, dhal andvegetable oil. These basic items should be brought by WFP and to be distributed as dryrations to IDPs. Supplementary food items - other items needed for cooking amount to1850 MT. Totally 6950 MT. The need for a day in Vanni is 170 MT � 17 lorry loads. Forthe month of February the amount of food items came to Vanni so far is 50 MT � 5 lorryloads. This is not enough even for one day�s distribution.TRO has organized to open 6 gruel (Kanji) distribution centres in six zones which wouldgive solace to the starving people. TRO is planning to open six more as the demand isever increasing � altogether 12 centres for kanji distribution with provision of milk (usingmilk powder packets) to infants.With the participation of other cooperative societies and administrative service 18 morecentres - 3 for each of 6 centres will function for the same purpose of providing kanji toall and milk to infants.

3. TRO has started constructing 60 wells - 10 in each zone along the coastline. Theyare called �Kottu � Palmyra tree trunk wells� � by digging sandy soil and induct 2 or 3plastic barrels (if Palmyra tree trunk is not available) into it. Already 40 wells have beenbuilt. TRO has come forward to build 300 more wells � additional 50 wells for each of 6zones. This should be completed before 8th of March 2009.TRO has promised in the coordinating meeting to build 30 toilets - 5 in each of 6 zones.These toilets will be built on the other side of the road leading to shrubby forest lands.With the participation of Fishemen�s Cooperative Federations additional 1000 toilets will be built in a short period of on coastline.

20 January 2009 "On the Spot" Report

" Narrow roads. Labyrinth of death. Broken vehicles parked by roadside made the roads more narrow. According to practical regulations imposed by local authorities for managing emergency situation only one row of vehicles can go upward while downward another row of vehicle can come in. Two rows up and down can move simultaneously with great difficult of maneuvering. It normally works well. But when a vehicle is broken in the middle of the road � even when it is parked sideway mayhem erupts. Two vehicles can�t pass at the same time. Thousands of vehicles � lorries, canters, tractors with trailers, land masters, motor bikes and cycles with hundreds of thousands of people moving both ways get stuck into the long lasting standstill. No move. The fear of shell attack on the roads � crowded by fleeing thousands of IDPs make more of them to move into that quagmire.

It happens many times in a day. To dismantle each knot of standstill it takes many hours. While this hectic hour prolongs endlessly without any warning a shell fell in the midst of the pool of people and vehicles. A tractor was burning along with the driver. Following that a cluster of bombs fell with nasty destruction effect with the sound of thunder and lightening.

The people were lying down cover. The spot when the shell fell was strewn with blood, bones and flesh. At that time a whole family of 2 children, father and mother were wiped out. They could not be identified immediately. No body was in full shape. All parts have to be swept into a big heap. Then the injured were crying and howling with pain for help. Blood was everywhere � on the ground and all over the bodies of the injured. A woman was calling hoarsely for help. Her both legs were dangling from her hip � pouring blood profusely onto the ground making the earth bloody red..."

11 January 2009 Sri Lanka  Orders all Health Workers to leave Vanni - Press Release

"It is with distress and concern that TRO Headquarters � Vanni notes the departure of the expatriate staff of the International Committee of the Red Cross from the LTTE controlled Vanni.
The ICRC has been the only international organization functioning in the Vanni for the past four months after the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) ordered all of the United Nations Agencies (UN) and international Non-Governmental Organizations (iNGOs) out of the Vanni on 15 September 2008.
The departure of the ICRC removes the last international witness to the GoSL�s attacks on the over 300,000 Tamil civilians in the Vanni. The ICRC has, in the past two weeks alone, witnessed and reported to the international community via press releases, several incidents of bombing and shelling of hospitals, churches, temples and internally displaced persons (IDP) camps by the Sri Lanka Armed Forces which killed hundreds of civilians. In the past two months alone, the GoSL�s shelling and bombing has killed over 1000 civilians and more than 4000 have been seriously injured." more

26 January 2009 Urgent Appeal for Immediate Medical Assistance & Medical Supplies to Prevent a Human Catastrophe in the Vanni

Over the last 24 hours over 300 civilians who were awaiting relief and medical assistance within the �Safety Zone� declared by the Government of Sri Lanka have been killed and several thousand injuredin Udaiyaarkaddu, Suthanthirapuram, and Vallipuram in the Mullaitivu District by Sri Lanka Army multi-barrel artillery and mortar shelling by the Sri Lanka armed forces.

17 January 2009 Vanni Situation Report
5 January 2009 Situation Report - November/December 2008
19 December 2008

Report on aftermath of SL Air Force bombing of Kalaru IDP Camp -

Between 1:30 and 1:55 am on Saturday 29 November 2008 the TRO Kallaru Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camp (also called: Tharumapuram Kallaru Ranimayanathan Scheme or Ulavanoor Kudiyiruppu settlement) was bombed by the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF). The SLAF dropped 16 Russian made cluster bombs killing two civilians (a 5 year old child and an 80 year old man) and injuring 19 others (10 children were among the injured). A 77-year-old woman lost her left arm and a 39-year-old man lost his left leg.

The Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) ordered departure of the UN and international NGOs from the Vanni on 15 September 2008 has removed the independent, international witness to attacks such as these against civilians. TRO appeals to the international community and the Tamil Diaspora to pressure the GoSL to allow the UN and international NGOs to return to the Vanni on a permanent basis so that they may provide humanitarian assistance to the 300,000 IDPs, conduct needs assessments, and serve as a witness to the sufferings of and attacks on Tamil civilians.

25 November 2008 Report on Cyclone Nisha flooding in Vanni

Over 300,000 war IDPs are facing a humanitarian crises due to ongoing flooding resulting from one week of monsoon rains. The Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL)ordered the United Nations (UN) and international NGOs out of the Vanni leaving Tamils Rehabilitation Organization as the only NGO serving the needs of 300,000 IDPs. For the past 4 months TRO has been urging the GoSL allow temporary shelter building materials, food, medicine, fuel and other essential items into the Vanni. The GoSL continues to impose severe restrictions & embargoes humanitarian relief in violation of International Humanitarian Law and uses food & medicine as a weapon of war in violation of International Human Rights Law.


5 November 2008 Progress Report  of Humanitarian Assistance to Internally Displaced Persons in Vanni
20 April 2008 Sri Lanka Army Assassinates Father M.X.Karunaratnam,  Chairman of NorthEast Secretariat on Human Rights (NESoHR)
8 April 2008 Situation Report on the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Madhu Division, Mannar District &  Situation in Manthai East Division, Mannar District

10 March 2008 Situation Report - Time period covered: 1 March 2008 �10 March 2008, Districts: Vadamarachchi East (Jaffna), Mannar, Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi, & Vavuniya
22 February 2008 Sri Lanka: Mounting Humanitarian Toll in 2008
14 August 2007 TRO Memorial for 51 School Girls Killed in SLAF Bombing
31 July 2007 Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi, Vadamaradchchi East (Jaffna), Mannar & Vavuniya - TRO Situation Report: 16 July 2007 - 31 July 2007
4 April 2007 Bombing of White Pigeon Building in Puthukkudiyiruppu, Mullaitivu District
25 March 2007 Funeral Held for TRO aid worker killed by Sri Lanka Army
15 March 2007 Abducted TRO Aid Workers Believed Dead - Memorial service held by TRO [also in PDF]
7 February 2007 Ceasefire Agreement: 2002 - 2007 - 5 year Missed Opportunity
18 January 2007 Vaharai is Starving
26 December 2006 TSUNAMI: 2 YEARS ON - A REPORT from the TRO Board of Governors
29 August 2006 Sinhala Sri Lanka government freezes bank accounts of a Registered Charity
23 August 2006 Dr. Nagaratnam Ranjithan, President TRO, USA  Speaks about  FBI Search
21 July 2006 TRO Employee Assaulted by Army in Jaffna
23 May 2006 TRO Condemns Attack on NGOs in Trincomalee
26 April 2006 Urgent Appeal for Internally Displaced

"..Thousands of persons from Ralkuli, Kadakaraichchenai, Senaiyoor, Sampoor, Ilakkanthai, Sudaikuda, Paddalipuram and Upparu in the Trincomalee district have been displaced due to the ongoing air, sea, and ground attacks by the Security Forces of Government of Sri Lanka. The IDPs affected by the previous week�s communal violence are also streaming into LTTE controlled areas from the government controlled areas. The number of IDPs has passed the 30,000 mark and continues to rise. Due to extensive and continuous shelling and bombing the relief and rescue efforts are being severely hampered and travel to the affected areas to carry out humanitarian work has been nearly impossible..."

6 April 2006 Families of 7 �disappeared� TRO workers plead for their release
10 February 2006 Profiles of TRO Staffers abducted by Sri Lanka Paramilitary - and still missing
10 February 2006 TRO Response to Allegations of Non Cooperation in Investigation of Abduction
3 February 2006 TRO Statement to Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies (CHA)

"..A strong civil society is a sign that the mechanisms of democracy are still thriving. TRO believes that the humanitarian work that we are engaged in provides services to the affected populations of the NorthEast that would otherwise not receive the assistance that they need and deserve....Now, as seven of TRO�s dedicated, selfless staffers face an uncertain fate, many more re-consider their dedication to TRO and to humanitarian work in general. What are the safe avenues left for those who seek to create a positive impact through their contribution to our society? ..  In the past week, for fear of the safety of our staff, TRO has, in some parts of the NorthEast, been forced to divert our attentions away from the vital work we do in the humanitarian field and instead focus on the protection of our staff. Once again I urge you to raise your voice and call for an end to this violence and call for the release of the kidnapped individual..."

30 January 2006 Sri Lanka Paramilitaries abduct Tamil Staff members of Tamils Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) in Welikande/Batticaloa

".. TRO believes that the humanitarian work that we are engaged in provides services to the affected populations of the NorthEast that would otherwise not receive the assistance that they need and deserve....Now, as seven of TRO�s dedicated, selfless staffers face an uncertain fate... I urge you to raise your voice and  call for the release of the kidnapped individuals..." Statement by Arjun Ethirveerasingam, TRO Project Development Manager, Colombo

19 January 2006 Appeal for  Jaffna Displaced

Urgent Appeal for Humanitarian Assistance - At the start of December 2005 there was an increase in the level of violence in the Jaffna Peninsula, Trincomalee and other regions of the NorthEast of Sri Lanka. The NGO Consortium and local NGOs have stated that, �Many families in the Jaffna peninsula and Trincomalee felt that due to escalating violence that there was a threat to their personal safety from the Sri Lankan Security Forces and paramilitary forces. Many of these families identified the Vanni region as a place where they could temporarily move for safety.�  Over 3,325 families (approximately 14,500 individuals as of 16/01/06) have left their permanent housing, taking only what they could carry on their backs, and have crossed the checkpoints and lagoon into LTTE controlled areas of the Vanni. In light of this influx of IDPs TRO is making an �URGENT APPEAL� to the Tamil Diaspora and the international community for desperately needed funds to build temporary shelters, provide food and water, non-food relief (NFR) items, medical treatment and transportation to meet the needs of these families.

16 December 2005 TRO Responds to Media Reports

"It is with regret and concern that TRO must respond to the recent articles in the local and international media. The false allegations, complete fabrications, and twisting of facts reported in the articles are a weak attempt to malign the largest and most efficient NGO in the NorthEast. It appears that there is a coordinated malicious campaign by pro-government, anti-Tamil forces to malign TRO and the work that it performs. It is also disturbing that the increased levels of propaganda correspond to the diminished levels of peace discourse in Sri Lanka.... TRO is a registered, tax exempt charitable organization in the USA and is a registered charity with the government of Sri Lanka. TRO�s effectiveness in the NorthEast has been recognized by the local and international media, international NGOs (iNGOs), visiting dignitaries (President Clinton, Kofi Annan), foreign governments, the UN, and even by the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL)..."

June 2005 Report on Emergency Relief and Rehabilitation for Tsunami Affected Sri Lanka, 26 December 2004 � 26 June 2005

"Six months after a devastating tsunami overwhelmed the coast of Sri Lanka on 26 December 2004, the Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) is publishing this report to provide awareness of its tsunami related activities including current projects, challenges and partners. " more

9 January 2005


Executive Director, TRO meets UN Secretary General and submits letter detailing TRO's lead in the NorthEast in providing Tsunami relief

6 January 2005

Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation -  Coordination & Support Centre, Tsunami Disaster Management Unit (DMU)

To address the immediate and life-threatening relief and rehabilitation needs of those affected by the Tsunami in the NorthEast of Sri Lanka, the Tamils Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) has set up a Disaster Management Unit (DMU) at its head office in Colombo . Our objective is to co-ordinate all emergency relief work in the NorthEast and we have many dedicated employees and volunteers working around the clock. The DMU is structured to address urgent needs and maximize efficiency and we have identified and established the following divisions: Medical, Logistics & Procurement, Communication & Media, Data collection & management, Finance / Administration. The DMU is fully functional and has been delivering emergency relief items to affected areas in the NorthEast from day one of the disaster.

29 December 2004 Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation Media Release, Press Conference at Swiss TRO Headquarters, Geneva

"Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation which is a registered humanitarian organization in Sri Lanka and a member of the consortium of humanitarian has grave concerns that our ability to respond in a timely manner is being hindered by excessive administrative, bureaucratic and control requirements imposed.  We are going through a critical phase of the relief efforts to address the impact of the unparalleled calamity caused by Tsumani. Urgent response is of paramount importance to arrest further deterioration of this tragic situation. This is particularly so because relief channelled through the Government of Sri Lanka has not reached the people of the northeast of the Island...

TRO has been in operation for over 19 years,  and currently partners with multilateral and UN Agencies and several international NGOs in major rehabilitation and reconstruction projects and programmes in the North-East of Sri Lanka. TRO has district offices and sub-offices in each of the eight districts in the North-East of Sri Lanka and employs over 3500 paid staff. 

TRO has a well trained de-mining staff that have undergone extensive training including training provided by UN Agencies and are in full readiness to address dangers caused by mines. Delays of relief reaching some districts in the North-East are being attributed in some quarters to problems regarding mines. TRO considers that dangers caused by free floating mines are  far less significant when compared to the dangers of death by starvation and disease. Our staff and volunteers live in this environment and have always been exposed to these risks and have the acquired the expertise and capability to address these concerns. "

28 December 2004 TRO lists immediate relief needs
27 December 2004 Updated Appeal for Tsunami Disaster Victims in Tamil Eelam - 8000 Dead and 500,000 Displaced in northeast of the Island of Sri Lanka

"The Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation is engaged, on a war footing, in rendering urgent humanitarian assistance to all those in the coastal areas of the northeast  of Sri Lanka who have borne the brunt of  the  �tidal� waves (tsunamis) caused by the strongest earthquake in 40 years, with its epicentre in Indonesia. Beaches are strewn with debris and waste. Whole villages have been turned into cemeteries. Over 8000 have lost their lives in the northeast. More than 500,000 have been displaced from their homes and left without shelter.The Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation is engaged in the task of providing food, medical help, transport, temporary shelters and other urgent humanitarian assistance for the hundreds of thousands of the displaced. However, the magnitude of the humanitarian crisis that we are faced with is such that we need the urgent support of the international community and the generous and immediate support of our Tamil brothers and sisters living in many lands..."

27 December 2004 Updated Appeal  for Tsunami Disaster Victims in Tamil Eelam

ஈழம் வடக்குக்கிழக்கில் 6000 பொதுமக்கள் உயிரிழப்பு - 500 000 மக்கள் இடம்பெயர்வு - அவசர மனிதாபிமான உதவிகளை வழங்கிடுவீர்!  தற்போது இடம்பெயர்ந்து பல்வேறு இடங்களிலும் தங்கியுள்ள சுமார் 500 000 பொதுமக்களிற்கான உணவு மருத்துவ உதவிகள் போக்குவரத்து மற்றும் தற்காலிக இருப்பிட உதவிகள் போன்ற அவசர மனிதாபிமான உதவிகளை தமிழர் புனர்வாழ்வுக் கழகம் வழங்கி வருகின்றது. எனினும் தற்போது ஏற்பட்டுள் பெருமளவிலான தேவைகளை எதிர்கொள்வதற்கு அனைத்துலக சமூகமும் புகலிட தமிழ் சமூகமும் பெருமெடுப்பில் உதவிடல் வேண்டும் என தமிழர் புனர்வாழ்வுக் கழக நிறைவேற்றுப் பணிப்பாளர் வேண்டுதல் விடுத்துள்ளார்.

26 December  2004 Appeal for Tsunami Disaster Victims in Tamil Eelam

"Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO), an independent Non-Governmental Organization registered with Government of Sri Lanka, appealed to the Tamil expatriates Sunday to donate towards meeting the humanitarian crisis unfolding following the tsunami wave triggered flooding in residential areas along the eastern coast of Sri Lanka. Majority of families affected were from the NorthEast of Sri Lanka...The North and East coast of the Island of Sri Lanka has been devastated by unexpected tidal waves which have swamped several villages and towns in the Amparai, Mullaitivu Batticaloa Trincomalee and Vadamarachi districts.Violent waves entered villages located up to 3 kilometres from the coast in the districts of Batticaloa and Trincomalee..."

18 May 2002 An Expatriate�s Visit to Eelam:After Twenty-one Years - N. A. Ranjithan MD, President TRO Inc. USA


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