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INDICTMENT AGAINST SRI LANKA
Sri Lanka's Genocidal War - '95 to '01
Sri Lanka bombs Tamil populated areas and embargo on food and medicine continues...
....The security forces continued to launch offensive operations in Jaffna despite LTTE’s ceasefire. The Navy say that two Tiger boats carrying arms were sunk near Point Pedro harbour on 21 February. Earlier in the month, the Navy seized eight fishing boats and 34 National Identity Cards from fishermen. .
... NGO workers say that although 26,200 families qualify to receive food aid in Kilinochchi District, only 14,500 families are provided dry rations. The other families face starvation. Farming has been severely affected by restrictions on fuel and fertilisers. Between May and December last year, the district received only 520 barrels of kerosene whereas four times the amount is needed. The Government Agent has been allowed to take 1,100 tonnes of fertiliser into the district whereas request was made for 4,200 tonnes.
The Jaffna government secretariat has announced that relief to internally displaced people will be reduced from 1 April. Some 35,000 families will be affected by the decision. There is consternation that relief is reduced while no action has been taken against six Grama Sevakas (village headman) who were involved in corruption in the provision of relief to refugees. Senior government officers are also implicated in a Rs 4.9 million ($57,000) corruption scandal. Meanwhile, the Jaffna hospital suffers from lack of equipment and shortage of over 30 types of medicines. In February, two deaths occurred in the hospital because of lack of equipment.
Reports say that people in LTTE-controlled Vaharai in north Batticaloa are facing starvation, following an Army ban on food into the area. Severe restrictions on goods into Vaharai were earlier in force, but the Army at Mankerni imposed a total ban on 26 February, after the LTTE hijacked boats belonging to Muslim fishermen in Valaichenai. Sugar, rice and flour taken by civilians were dumped on the ground at the Army checkpoint. The military are also preventing fishermen in Vaharai taking their catch into Army-held areas for sale. The lack of medical services in the LTTE-controlled areas is causing concern. Four people died of diarrhoea in Vaharai in early February. The French agency Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) runs a mobile medical service. But people request more services in light of the large population in the areas.
Sri Lankan government and Army restrictions have had an adverse impact on education in northern Vanni region. Many schools have no furniture. Metal furniture is not allowed into the Vanni and the government has not provided funds to make furniture locally. A large number of schools are damaged. In Kilinochchi District, 60 of the 71 schools are functioning in temporary shelters. Science teaching has become impossible because of the restrictions on science equipment and chemicals. Computers for the Vanni are lying in Vavuniya as the Army has denied permission. Maps, paper and ink are among the restricted items. Because of restrictions on fuel, it has become difficult for students to study in the nights.
At least 3,350 teachers are currently needed in the region for the 94,000 students, but there are only 1,800 teachers. According to Tamil Teachers Union General Secretary T Mahasivam, the shortage of teachers has had an impact on the standard of education in the Vanni. Some 600 volunteer teachers are demanding permanent appointment and have threatened to withdraw. Inadequate nutrition is a major problem in the Vanni due to government restrictions on food and has had a detrimental effect on children, including students. Only one third of the food needed reaches the region despite protests by agencies.
Reports say there are many students among over 11,000 people disabled by the war during the period 1990-2000. Most of them are unable to obtain prosthetics or other materials needed for their rehabilitation. (British Refugee Council, Sri Lanka Monitor, February 2001)