"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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Sri Lanka's Genocidal War - '95 to '01

Over 20,000 Tamils displaced in March 1999...

The British Refugee Council publication Sri Lanka Monitor, reported in its March 1999 issue:

"Over 20,000 people were displaced in March following three Sri Lankan Army operations in the northern Vanni, to secure territory held by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

In Operation Rana Gosha (Battle Cry), launched on 4 March, the Army advanced from Poovarasankulam, nine miles west of Vavuniya and from Thandikulam, three miles north of Vavuniya. Iranai Iluppaikulam, six miles north of Poovarasankulam was captured. Troops advanced 10 miles further north on 6 March and annexed Mundrumurippu, where they were joined by another column moving from Omanthai, on Vavuniya-Jaffna road. The Army pushed further north-east to take Vannivilankulam, a mile north-west of Mankulam....

Around 4,000 permanent residents of these areas and another 10,000 refugees fled north to Mulankavil, Thunukkai and Vinayagapuram. Reports say, some have found refuge in schools and others are living in the open without any relief.....

As troops advanced, artillery shelling caused civilian deaths and injury. Three people, including Nageswaran Natheesa, 12, were killed at Thandiyankulam, east of Mankulam. Three more civilians died in Nedunkandal and Mundrumurippu....

Around 5,000 acres of rice, ready for harvest, around Mallavi have been abandoned because of the military operations. Food supply to LTTE-controlled areas in the Vanni was disrupted from 18 March. International NGOs say while relief stocks are already inadequate to cope with earlier displacement, large number of new refugees will lead to a serious problem in the Vanni.

A further 5,000 people fled when the Army shelled LTTE artillery positions in Vidataltivu and Pappamoddai in northern Mannar in mid-March. A medical centre in Pallamadu and a church in Vidataltivu were damaged. The people took refuge in Kalliyady, further north. ...

The Airforce bombed Mullaitivu District on 20 March killing a woman and injuring three others. The following day, a girl student of the Mulliyavalai School was blown to pieces by an Airforce bomb...

UNP MP Jayalath Jayawardena says that the refugees in the Vanni suffer without sufficient food, medicines and drinking water. Diseases continue to spread. According to press reports a number of people died of septicaemia and malaria in Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi districts during February.

Health Department officials say that medicines for the first quarter of 1999 were sent to the Vanni in early March following complaints of acute shortages in hospitals.

In early March, the Vanni Citizens Committee handed to the UNHCR office in Mallavi, another petition addressed to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan regarding the suffering of civilians in the region.

A government survey to determine the number of refugees, scheduled for early March, was disrupted following military operation Rana Gosha and denial of permission by the LTTE. This means that the 57% cut in food to Tiger-held areas will continue. NGOs say the new displacement will cause further misery.....


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