Sri Lanka army launches intensified artillery attack on densley populated Tamil village

Place: Jaffna Pennisula | Courtesy: The Hindu
| Date: 19951003

On 3 October the Sri Lanka Army launched a heavy attack on densely populated Tamil villages in the Jaffna peninsula. The offensive was against Atchuveli, Vasavilan, Puthur, Pattaimeni, Avarangal and Vallai. Heavy shelling was directed into civilian centres from the Palaly army base. Shells fell sporadically in Navatkuli, Kaithadi, Navakiri and Neerveli sometimes through out the day.

The random shelling of population centres resulted in thousands more abandoning their homes and fleeing from the areas which were within Sri Lankan government artillery range. Kudarappu along the east coast of the peninsula was also subject to aerial bomabardment. The displaced civilians were accommodated in schools, temples and other public buildings. The Sri Lanka army plundered evacuated homes and shops in Valikamam East. Water pumps were taken way. Several properties were systematically destroyed and razed to the ground.

In early October, the ICRC head office in Colombo was denied permission by the Sri Lanka Joint Operations Command to bring a team of medical doctors and medical experts to the Jaffna teaching hospital. The lack of medical and support staff at the hospital severely hampered the efforts of the Red Cross to provide humanitarian aid.

The Director of Planning of the Jaffna Secretariat, Mr.K.Pathmanaban made urgent pleas for the removal of the blockade and for immediate food shipments on 11 October. He pointed that the "general population is on the brink of starvation. Furthermore due to unavailability of flour, all production of bread has come to a halt on 10 October."

" Shelling operations continue to pose a major problem for the civilian population. For instance, many residents of Point Pedro have stopped sleeping in their homes at night and, instead, prefer to take shelter in a more secure hospital area. `People think that their houses are no longer safe. That is why they prefer the safety of a hospital,'' the travellers stated. It appears that the town of Point Pedro has been shelled from the Palali military camp. People coming from Jaffna said there was a high degree of uncertainty among the population of the peninsula."