Jaffna University Teachers Association appeals

Place: Jaffna | Courtesy: Local Media
| Date: 19950806

In a letter addressed to the Colombo diplomatic community, on 6 August 1995, the University of Jaffna Teachers Association accused the Government of Sri Lanka of committing genocide of the Tamils in the name of liberating the civilians. The letter signed by R. Sivachandran Vice President and Professor K. Kandasamy, Secretary, was sent to Ambassadors and High Commissioners representing foreign missions in Colombo. The letter said:

    "Your Excellency,

    As you are aware, the military operation by the security forces in the Jaffna peninsula has entered the fourth day bringing untold suffering and misery to the civilian population at all levels.

    Besides the anguish caused among the people by this action a great number of persons have been killed and maimed by the indiscriminate artillery shelling from all directions and aerial bombing. All targets hit by aerial bombing have been civilian population, civilian dwellings and sacred places.

    Hospital records alone show that so far 153 civilians have been killed including 80 children as a result of the above actions.

    In this regard, we wish to draw your attention to the savage bombing of the Navaly Church on 9th July where hundreds of civilians had gathered for safety. As a result of this bombing more than 128 civilians including 64 children were killed on the spot and 142 were seriously injured. Many of the injured are succumbing to their injuries daily because of the severity of the injuries and the acute shortage of medical personal, drugs and other facilities in Jaffna.

    On 10th July, 14 civilian deaths have been recorded with 82 civilians suffering serious injuries, mainly due to shelling. On 11th July, the number of civilian deaths registered is 11 including children and the number injured is 16.

    The Jaffna Hospital mortuary is overflowing with dead bodies and the wards are overflowing with injured civilians who are housed in every available space including corridors of wards. Besides the number of deaths mentioned above, many have been killed and their bodies have been cremated or buried by their of kin. It is feared that the actual number of civilian deaths in four days of operation may be well over 300.

    The scare caused by the shelling and bombing has made the civilian population to abandon their homes and move to locations far away from the area of operation into temporary refugee camps of which the University is one of the largest.

    The total number so dislocated is estimated at three hundred thousand to-date. The refugee problem has already become unmanagable due to the sheer number of displaced people and the shortage of food, medical supplies and other facilities.

    We are bringing this to your notice so that the international community may be made aware of the actual situation and the genocide that is taking place here in the name of freeing the civilians from the clutches of the LTTE.

    We hope you would bring pressure on the Sri Lankan Government to stop this carnage. The reports furnished by the Government media to the outside world is a deliberate distortion of facts intended to mislead the whole world. One wonders whether the final objective of this operation is the implementation of a scorched earth policy in Jaffna for the defiance shown by the Tamils in their fight for their inalienable rights."