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Mullaitivu General Hospital under Artillery Attack

One child killed and 18 civilians, including the GA, injured

by K. Mylvaganam, August 19, 2008

"The whole world is aware that attacking hospitals is not a humanitarian act. In my opinion among the worst form of human rights violations in the world are to attack hospitals."

Shelling of Mullaitivu General Hospital , Vanni , Sri Lanka August 8, 2008Artillery shelling of Mullaitivu General Hospital Vanni Sri Lanka August 8 2008The general hospital in Mullaitivu was subject to heavy artillery shelling at 1.00 a.m. on the 8th August 2008. The shells were fired from Manalaru army camps. The shells fell on the said hospital and on the buildings in the vicinity. This included the residence of the Government Agent (GA) Mullaitivu and those of the government servants. The shells were directed on the adjoining villages as well, which are Manthoddam, Kumarapuram and Neeravippiddy. Eighteen civilians including the GA and a pregnant lady were injured. An 18 month old child was killed with its body severely impaired.

The GA Mrs.Imelda Sukumar, who was injured in this attack states;

Imelda Sukumar Government Agent wounded in artillery shelling of Mullaitivu General Hospital Vanni Sri Lanka August 8 2008 “The quarters of the medics personnel are situated around the government hospital. My residence and those of the other government servants are also located in the same premises. The shelling commenced in the early hours at 1.00 a.m. Around 20 shells fell on Kumarapuram and Neeravippiddy, which are 50 metres from the hospital. I was also injured and bleeding profusely. The medical officer took me to the hospital for treatment at about 1.30 a.m.   Even the wife of the medical officer was seriously injured. She had a narrow escape from death. An 18 month old child was killed on this incident. Its body was drastically impaired. I saw that pathetic sight with my own eyes. A further 15 people, who were injured in this attack were also brought to the hospital. Out of these, five were very seriously injured. They were hurriedly transferred to the Puthukudiyiruppu hospital. Since my blood pressure was very high at that time the doctors let me rest in a quiet place. I cannot recollect as to what happened after that. But the sounds of the shelling were heard for over 1 1/2 hours.

Since I was in the hospital I could not inform the government. But one month back shells fell only about one kilometer from my residence. This was reported to the government by me. But there were no causalities as it fell on a paddy field. But this attack has caused great fear and anxiety among the people. It has also resulted in several damages to properties besides injured many. This is the prevailing situation.

Due to the artillery attack going on in Manthai East and Thunukkai divisions nearly 11,000 families have evacuated from their residences and moved to this town. They have also gone to Puthukudiyiruppu and Kilinochchi.

Similarly  people from Vavuniya north division have moved into Oddisuddan. Humanitarian organizations, Non Government Organisations and the government are providing assistance to them. They are being provided meals under the auspices of the World Food Program.

The AGA of the Thunukkai division was killed under a claymore attack on the first day, when security precautions were being taken care of.

Under these circumstances I am left with only 2 or 3 AGAs to do our work in five divisions. It is because of this my blood pressure got increased. After resting for a while I went and worked in my office till 8:00 p.m. before I returned to my residence.

We  have to continue with emergency work. I have to point out that the people do not want to go to the army controlled areas. Instead they prefer to come to Mullaitivu. The district and the divisional offices have many important services to be executed. But the government officers are mortally scared to work due to the lack of security.

The government servants attached to the to the GA’s office in Kilinochchi are conducting a protest demonstration condemning the killing of the government servants in the past and demand that no such killings should be resorted to in the future.

My officers also did the same. This has been reported to all the government institutions by me. We, the government servants, are put in very difficult circumstances to attend to the emergency services. Under these circumstances we understand that there is no guarantee for our lives here. It is under such perilous conditions that we are compelled to execute our duties. Besides we wonder as to how their security situation in going to develop. This is an enormous problem."

The district medical officer (DMO) Dr.Shanmugarajah states;

District Medical Officer Dr. Shanmugarajah August 8 2008"I returned from the hospital at 11:00 p.m. after attending to an emergency delivery. I was fast asleep, when I was awakened by the sound of the artillery shelling. One of the shells fell next to the windows of my bedroom. My wife was injured by this. My son also got slightly injured. Our residence was badly damaged.

I took my wife and son to the main hall of the hospital. At that time people who were injured by the shelling were also being brought in. An 18 month old child was brought in dead. Its body was severally devastated by the shells. Altogether there were 18 persons injured. This included a pregnant mother, children and one elderly person, whose arm was severed completely.

Our GA was also one of the injured. Her residence is also inside the hospital compound. Our hospital staff and the patients are in a state of shock. Even though this attack sent shock waves among the people, yet patients are coming for treatment. There are about 75 patients remaining in our hospital wards.  Though they seem highly agitated, yet they think that the hospital will provide them security.

The GA too was astounded over this attack. I am sending a report to our regional medical officer about this. The whole world is aware that attacking hospitals is not a humanitarian act. In my opinion among the worst form of human rights violations in the world are to attack hospitals."                                     

Name list of the Victims in this attack                                         


Name                                                                      Gender                   Age         Address

  • Mrs.EmeldaShukumar                                     Female                    50            GA Hostel, Mansolai, Mullaitivu

(GA- Mullaitivu)                                  

  • Mrs. Sanmukaraja Renuka                              Female                    36            MHO Hostel General Hospital, Mansolai, Mullaitivu
  • Mr. Santhiya                                                     Male                       40            Vadduvkal, Mullaitivu
  • Mrs. Pettan Santhanavathi                             Female                    50            Neeravippitty, Mulliyavalai
  • Mrs. Vijayakanth  Piremila                              Female                    33            Thanneeruttu, Mulliyavalai
  • Mrs. S. Thanalaxmy                                         Female                    57            Neeravippitty, Mulliyavalai
  • Mrs. Kanmany                                                  Female                    50            Neeravippitty, Mulliyavalai
  • Mrs. Sivarasadevy                                           Femae                     64            Thanneeruttu, Mulliyavalai
  • Mrs. Suppiramaniyam  Suventhiralatha       Female                    23            Uduppukkulam, Alampil
  • Miss. Vijayakanth Arelil                 Female                    05            Thanneeruttu, Mulliyavalai
  • Mr. Vijayakanth Pehan                                    Male                       2  ½         Thanneeruttu, Mulliyavalai
  • Mrs. Nadarasa Veeramma                               Female                    52            Kumarapuram, Mulliyavalai              
  • Mrs. Vinasiththambi Rukkumany                  Female                    72            Kumarapuram, Mulliyavalai
  • Mr. Perumal Nadarasa                                     Male                       56            Kumarapuram, Mulliyavalai
  • Mrs. Iyan Rasakumary                                    Female                    36            Neeravippitty, Mulliyavalai
  • Miss. Iyan Sankeetha                                      Female                    10            Neeravippitty, Mulliyavalai
  • Mr. Velayutham ravichchanthiran Male                       40            Kumarapuram, Mulliyavalai
  • Mr.R.Lokanathan                                             Male                       50            Neeravippitty, Mulliyavalai


  • Iyan Sankeerththanan                                     Male                       1 ½          Thanneeruttu, Mulliyavalai


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