Girl Dies On Spot, Others Critical, As Civilian Casualties Mount

Place: Omanthai | Courtesy: TamilCanadian
| Date: 19970601

Sri Lanka's army - stalled just north of Omanthai - is continuing to hammer distant Tamil towns with long-range artillery. Mankulam, Puliyankulam, Palamoddai and Kanaharayankulam are being devastated by the bombardments. All are thickly-populated Tamil towns. The army knows that from such a distance civilians will most certainly be hit.

Again, the Geneva Conventions regarding the protection of civilians are being violated, while the news blackout keeps the truth hidden. The Sinhala army is meanwhile frustrated by the strong resistance meeting its forward march and this is motivating them to pound Tamil towns even more fiercely. Civilian casualties are reported, with the death of a 22-year old girl - Kanthappu Yasothathevi - now confirmed. She died on the spot when a shell split her body open yesterday evening. Many of her neighbours are critically injured. Civilians from these four locations have now been displaced, joining hundreds of thousands already made refugees in the Vanni district. In Kanakarayankulam, lots of already-displaced people huddled in schools have been compelled to flee again after the schools received direct hits. Sri Lanka's strategy - of deliberately displacing thousands of Tamils and using long-range artillery to pound heavily-populated towns - remains unchallenged. The inaction of those in Colombo aware of the situation is an incentive to the Sri Lankan government to continue its no-holes-barred attack on Tamil regions.