Tamil cultivable lands and crops destroyed b Sri Lanka troops

Place: Vanni | Courtesy: TamilNet
| Date: 19970200

The Sri Lankan army is making use of the harvest season to disrupt Tamil rice cultivation. Armoured vehicles and tanks are being driven through well- tended fields in parts of Batticaloa and Vanni destroying months of hard labour and leading to food shortages. The army also burns crops as it passes.
- Tamilnet News Report 9 February 1997

"Sri Lanka's 'Operation Edibala' is continuing with troops setting fire to Tamil crops as they advance. So far, a string of Tamil villages between Vavuniya and Mannar have been occupied. Soldiers descended on these villages like swarms of locusts sending residents running in terror as their homes were bombed and bulldozed. Acres of rice fields have been purposelyscorched dur- ing the assault in what is becoming a more and more typical military tactic. While enforcing a food blockade to Tamil areas, Sri Lanka is systematically wiping out Tamils' own attempts at cultivation. The airforce, meanwhile, is targeting houses and public buildings making it difficult for civilians to return to their lives. Around 10,000 displaced Tamils are already crammed into Maddu Church refugee camp. Other displaced civil- ians have sought safety in the town of Iranai Illupaikulam. Sri Lanka pursues its military campaign under cover of a reporting ban in the areas of fighting, effectively screening the extent of damage being inflicted on the Tamil popula- tion. All war news presently emanates from Colombo through defence minis- try statements."

- Tamilnet News Report 12 February 1997