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Home > Tamils - a Trans State Nation > Struggle for Tamil Eelam > Indictment against Sri Lanka > Genocide'83 > Sri Lanka's Genocidal War - '95 to '01 > Sri Lanka's Undeclared War on Eelam Tamils  - in the Shadow of a Ceasefire - 02 todate: Introduction & Index  > Sri Lanka's Undeclared War on Eelam Tamils in the Shadow of a Ceasefire - 02 todate: the Record Speaks > Disappearances & Extra Judicial Killings > Rape & Murder  > Torture  > Sri Lanka's War Crimes > Censorship, Disinformation & Murder of Journalists > Patterns of  Impunity  > Sri Lanka Accused at United Nations > Rajiv Gandhi's War Crimes

INDICTMENT AGAINST SRI LANKA

Sri Lanka's Undeclared War on Eelam Tamils
...in the Shadow of a Ceasefire

40 civilian refugees killed in Sri Lankan artillery attack, 8 November 2006
"It is appalling that the military should attack a camp for displaced people" - Amnesty International, 8 November 2006
Why doesn’t someone come and give us poison and kill us all – Vaharai people
LTTE didn’t fire from camp: Survivors says Sinhala owned Sri Lanka Daily Mirror
Kithiraveli attack unprovoked says LTTE Peace Secretariat
Sonobo Children’s Home in Vaharai attacked, 12 children injured - TRO, 8 November 2006
  கனடிய தமிழ்ச்சோலை வானொலிக்கு நேற்று புதன்கிழமை (08.11.06) தமிழர் புனர்வாழ்வுக் கழகத்தின் வாகரைப் பகுதி பணிப்பாளர் மூர்த்தி வழங்கிய நேர்காணல்(09.11.06)
SLAF bombs Vaharai, IDPs flee SLA shelling, 6 November 2006
Vaharai residents face severe food shortage- MP, 6 November 2006
Vaharai Photographs at TRO


40 civilian refugees killed in Sri Lankan artillery attack, 8 November 2006
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 08 November 2006, 08:17 GMT]

Emergency Rescue workers in Vaharai say scores of civilians were killed Wednesday around 11:35 a.m. when Sri Lanka Army fired Multi-Barrel Rockets and artillery shells targeting Kathiraveli, a coastal hamlet 15 km north of Vaaharai, hit a school where five thousand Internally Displaced People had sought refuge. 40 dead bodies have been recovered. Six babies below 6-month were killed, said medical sources stating that 30 dead bodies had been brought to Vaaharai hospital. SLMM officials and the ICRC visited the area where more than 120 houses were severely damaged. An area with 2 km perimeter was indiscriminately bombed. 60 severely wounded civilians were brought to Valaichenai hospital. 2 civilians succumbed to their wounds while being transferred to Valaichenai.

Many of the civilians wounded in were struggling without medical facilities as the only hospital in Vaharai was also targeted by the artillery attack. Patients in Vaharai hospital were forced to flee the hospital following the attack. "An indiscriminate artillery and MBRL onslaught has continued for more than 30 minutes on Kathiraveli Vigneswara Vidyalayam killing and wounding tens of innocent IDPs," M. Raj, a TRO rescue worker said. The school is located in a densely populated area.

Vaaharai region has been completely blocked for NGO access. There was no transportation for patients to be treated, the emergency rescue worker added. Around 1600 families were staying in the IDP camp located at Kathiraveli school. Following the aerial and artillery attack on Paalchenai, more than 2000 IDP persons had arrived at the school during the past 72 hours.

ICRC, SLMM and UNICEF were informed of the attack. Despite the information, they were blocked by the Sri Lanka Army to enter the area, initial reports said. Later, the officials managed to reach Vaharai. Panic striken people attempted to block ICRC officials from leaving the area fearing further artillery attacks. NGO workers in Vaharai said they were trying to transport wounded civilians towards the entry/exit points although the SLA was initially not allowing the wounded to be transported in public vehicles.

Later, the SLA soldiers cooperated with the ICRC in transporting the wounded to Valaichenai and Batticaloa hospital. There is only a single ambulance vehicle which is yet to return to Vaharai hospital. The massive artillery and MBRL onslaught was launched while Sri Lanka Air Force reconnaissance aircrafts were engaged in operation, according to the initial reports.


  Amnesty International is appalled
AI Index: ASA 37/033/2006 (Public), 8 November 2006

Amnesty International is deeply concerned by reports of the killing today of as many as 65 civilians taking refuge in a school in Kathiraveli, a coastal hamlet 15 km north of Vaharai in the eastern district of Batticaloa.
The Sri Lankan Army (SLA) reportedly fired multi-barrel rockets and artillery shells which hit a school where internally displaced people (IDPs) were taking shelter. As many as 40 bodies are reported to have been recovered from the scene and more than 100 have been wounded. It is likely that many more may have been injured as the area targeted was densely populated and inhabited by some 5000 IDPs.

Amnesty International is appalled that the military should attack a camp for displaced people -- these were civilians who had already been forced from their homes because of the conflict. Amnesty International condemns all attacks on civilians and is particularly saddened and shocked to see such a large-scale attack on civilians just days after the government's announcement of its Commission of Inquiry into human rights abuses.

A Sri Lankan military spokesman has confirmed heavy artillery and mortar bomb exchanges in Batticaloa district, but has accused the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) of using civilians as human shields. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that 60,646 people remained displaced in Batticaloa district alone, as of 23 October 2006, and over 200,000 have been displaced in the north and east of Sri Lanka since 7 April 2006.

Amnesty International condemns the targeting and killing of innocent civilians and calls on the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE to take immediate and adequate precautions to protect civilian lives. All parties to the hostilities must comply with international humanitarian law, which prohibits murder or other violence to those taking no active part in hostilities, requires parties to ensure that their forces comply with the principle of distinction between civilian and military targets and do not target civilians or carry out indiscriminate attacks.

Amnesty International calls on the Government of Sri Lanka to initiate an immediate inquiry by international and independent human rights experts into this incident and all serious violations of human rights law and international humanitarian law. Amnesty International reiterates the urgent need for the Government of Sri Lanka to establish a strong and effective international human rights monitoring operation as a matter of urgency to respond to the dramatic deterioration of the human rights and humanitarian situation. Such a mechanism must have the full cooperation of both the government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE and the support of the United Nations and its member states.


Sonobo Children’s Home in Vaharai attacked, 12 children injured - TRO
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 08 November 2006, 11:07 ]

Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO), engaged in emergency rescue work at the IDP camp in Kathiraveli school Wednesday evening, said TRO’s Sonobo Children’s Home located close to the school was also attacked by SLA artillery. 12 children were wounded. Forty bodies have been recovered including 6 babies between the ages of 3 and 6 months, the TRO statement said. 76 persons have been admitted to the hospital. Full text of the press statement issued by the TRO follows:

Over 100 Civilians dead and injured - School and Hospital hit by Sri Lanka Army Multi-Barrel rocket and artillery attack

Over 100 persons have been killed or injured in an artillery (multi-barrel rocket) attack by the Sri Lanka Armed Forces in Vaharai, Batticaloa District. Forty (40) bodies have been recovered including 6 babies between the ages of 3 and 6 months. 76 persons have been admitted to the hospital.

The multi-barrel rockets attack, which began at approximately 11:35 a.m. and lasted for over 30 minutes, struck a school, Kathiraveli Vikneswara Vidyalayam, Vaharai General Hospital and TRO’s Sonobo Children’s Home (12 children in the home were injured). There are over 5,000 internally displaced persons (IDP) families in the immediate area. Most of the dead and injured are IDPs from Muttur.

Sri Lanka Army personnel at the border checkpoint have refused to allow seriously injured civilians to be transported to Batticaloa. Vaharai General Hospital is the only functioning hospital in the area and patients and staff were forced to flee to safety.

The school has been functioning as an IDP camp managed by TRO. There is a lack of other appropriate shelter due to restrictions placed on the transportation of building materials to the area by the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL). Since hostilities began in August, TRO has been caring for over 45,000 IDPs in the Vaharai area. These IDPs lack adequate shelter, food, fuel and other basic necessities.

TRO is the only NGO operating in the area due to GoSL restrictions on access by international NGO personnel to LTTE-controlled areas. The GoSL is requiring all international staff to apply for “work permits” (this is in addition to the “work visas” they already possess). Thus far no work permits have been approved by the GoSL for the LTTE-controlled areas. The UN and the ICRC only have intermittent access to these areas.

TRO is providing medical assistance to the injured and traumatized civilians.

TRO urgently appeals to the UN and ICRC for assistance in transporting the injured to hospitals for treatment

TRO also appeals to the Government of Sri Lanka to allow access by the UN, ICRC, other humanitarian organizations and the SLMM. The restrictions on the transportation of fuel imposed by the GoSL are hampering relief operations and ambulance service.


LTTE didn’t fire from camp: Survivors,  Easwaran Rutnam
Courtesy: Daily Mirror - November 10, 2006


The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission said yesterday there were no signs of the existence of an LTTE military camp in the vicinity of the two schools which came under attack from Government troops on Wednesday. SLMM acting spokeswoman Helen Olafsdottir told the Daily Mirror the monitors had interviewed some of the survivors of the incident and so far no one had provided evidence to suggest the presence of a rebel military camp in the area. She said the survivors had also not given any indication to suggest the LTTE may have fired from the area towards the security forces before fleeing in anticipation of a retaliatory response on the area. Meanwhile despite earlier reports of the attack in Vakarai killing 60 civilians and injuring some 600 more the SLMM said it has seen only 23 bodies thus far while another 137 were receiving treatment at the Batticaloa hospital. The ICRC which also visited the site said it had seen 23 bodies while its officials also assisted in transporting 69 seriously injured civilians to the Valaichchenai hospital for treatment.


Kithiraveli attack unprovoked – 45 dead, 125 injured  says LTTE Peace Secretariat

Unprovoked attacked on refugees

45 civilians were killed and a further 125 civilians were injured in the artillery shelling and Multi Barrel firing by Sri Lankan military on a refugee camp in Kathiraveli in Trincomalee. The artillery shelling by the Sri Lankan military began at 11.45 this morning and continued for several hours.

LTTE Sea Tiger vehicles assisted in the transport of the dead and injured to Vaharai hospital where relatives identified their family members. Kathiraveli was subjected to severe economic blockade by the Sri Lankan military and all sorts of essential items are in short supply. The hospital too is badly resourced and is struggling to cope with the large number of injured without medicines and bandages. The Vaharai hospital was already struggling with patients injured in the shelling over the past few days. The Sri Lankan military has closed the Mankerni check point preventing even ambulances taking the injured to the Batticaloa hospital.

The mindless and cruel attack on a helpless refugee population which has already been subjected to blockades of all sorts of essential items is difficult to understand. Is it possible that the Sri Lankan military’s intention was to teach the Tamils the lesson that they, the military, can kill refugees in such numbers, and no one can stop them? The timing of the attack, when the world attention is focused on Iraq’s Sadam Hussein and the US elections, must have also been selected to escape any international scrutiny of their methods.

Sri Lankan claim

Sri Lankan military spokesperson, Prasath Samarasinghe’s claim that their firing at a refugee camp in Kathiraveli in Vaharai, killing 45 and injuring 125 civilians was in retaliation to LTTE firing is absolute fabrication. The refugee camp that was attacked was housing about 1000 refugees as stated by the Government Agent for the area, Punniyamoorthy. It was 12 Kms from the nearest Forward Defense Line.

Prasath Samarasinghe boldly claims that the Sri Lankan military has demanded the people to move out of Vaharai. In what context was such a demand made from people living in an area that stretches 15 Kms ought to be questioned. What is to be further noted is that pamphlets were distributed by the Sri Lankan military to people asking them to move out of Vaharai area before 10th November. People did scramble to leave the area but the Sri Lankan military kept the Mankerni checkpoint closed thus preventing people leaving.

Then comes today’s mindless killing on 8th November by shelling directly into a school turned refugee camp housing 1000 people. Only the Sri Lankan military can have the audacity to then claim that they were only retaliating to LTTE fire.


SLAF bombs Vaharai, IDPs flee SLA shelling
[TamilNet, Monday, 06 November 2006, 11:42 GMT]

Sri Lanka Army (SLA) launched artillery attacks from Valaichenai SLA camp and Karadikulam SLA camp towards Vaharai intensified since Sunday night amid troop deployment at Gajuwatte SLA camp. LTTE's Military Spokesman Irasiah Ilanthirayan Monday said Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) carried out 2 sorties of aerial bombardment in Paalchenai and Vammivedduvan in Vaharai region in Batticaloa district Monday noon. "All communication and transportation facilities towards Vaharai has been cut off. Even the small amount of humanitarian supplies reaching the region twice a week, has been blocked by the Sri Lankan military," Mr. Ilanthirayan told TamilNet. Since 31st of October, there has been no humanitarian supplies to the region, LTTE spokesman said citing officials in Vaharai region that has been cut off.

"36 metric tons of basic suppiies are necessary for the region for a month. Only 5000 kg rice and white flour were in stock as per Sunday," Mr. Ilanthirayan said citing officials in Vaharai. "NGOs are blocked from the area, even truce monitors are not allowed to make independent judgement of the hostilities," he added. "Sri Lankan forces are using humanitarian crisis as a tool of war and have intensified attacks forcing civilians to flee the area," Tiger military spokesman said.

Mortar shells were fired from Mankerny SLA camp. Artillery shells were being fired from Karadikulam and Valaichenai camps, he said. SLA fired artillery shells hit 40th Mile Post, Sinnathaddumunai and Periyathaddumuani villages. Meanwhile, civil sources at Sri Lanka Army (SLA) controlled areas south of Vaharai said more than 200 families had reached SLA controlled areas following intensive shelling.


Vaharai residents face severe food shortage- MP
[TamilNet, Monday, 06 November 2006, 01:14 GMT]

Sri Lanka Army (SLA) troops of Mankerni Camp have refused permission to transport food items beyond their check point into LTTE- controlled Vaharai Region for more than a week, resulting in 43,000 civilians of the area facing acute shortage of essential food items, P.Ariyanenthiran, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Member of Parliament, Batticaloa District said in a communiqué issued to the press on Sunday. Pointing out that civilians recently displaced from Trincomalee District are also temporarily residing in the area, an estimated 36 metric tons (MT) of food is required for the people of the area for a month, but only 16 MT food was being sent to this area said Mr. Ariyanenthiran. Even this reduced amount of food supply has been stopped recently, he added. The MP also has complained that heavy rains have started and yet the Army has not permitted the asbestos roofing to be taken into Vaharai.

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