Ilankai Tamil Sangam

23rd Year on the Web

Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

TRO: Vaharai Starves

International community silent

TRO appeals to the Government of Sri Lanka, the Government Agent (GA), the ICRC, the UN and the international community to urgently send food and medicine to these IDPs and not to allow food and medicine to be used as a weapon of war.

“We only have enough food for one or two more days,” said TRO Vaharai Director of Operations Mr. Moorthy in a telephone message from Vaharai. 

“The people are suffering and there is nothing that we can do due to the SLA embargo on food and medicine.”

The GoSL has not allowed any convoys of food or medicine into the Vaharai area since November 29th 2006.  On that date the UN and ICRC facilitated the transportation of 2 weeks worth of food for the 40,000 IDPs in the area.  (UN Press Release of Nov. 30). 

These supplies have now been exhausted. There are currently 15,000 IDPs in the Vaharai area that the TRO is caring for.

(UN website with IDP stats):    

* 2,300 families (10,350 persons) in the immediate vicinity of Vaharai (Pictures)    

* 900 families (4,050 persons) in the Eachchilampattu area

TRO appeals to the Government of Sri Lanka, the Government Agent (GA), the ICRC, the UN and the international community to urgently send food and medicine to these IDPs and not to allow food and medicine to be used as a weapon of war.

It is the responsibility of the GoSL and the international community to ensure that these civilians are not made to suffer due to a lack of food, medicine or the threat of bombing or shelling.

TRO calls on the GoSL and the ICRC to declare the area in and around Vaharai Hospital to be a “Zone of Peace” or “Safe Zone”.

A humanitarian tragedy is unfolding in Vaharai and the international community should not remain silent any longer. END

Arjunan Ethirveerasingam
Project Manager, Media Relations
TRO (Colombo)
Sri Lanka Mobile: +94 77 674 6594
UK Mobile: +44 7758 649198

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