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Shell Blasts Refugee Camp at Puthumurippu

5 killed, including an infant and a 2 year-old child

by K. Mylvaganam, September 3, 2008

This is not a stray event of the government forces bombing or shelling the Tamil refugees. There have been many instances before....

Aren’t the Tamils also the citizens of the same government? Isn’t it the profound duty of the government to protect and safeguard all its citizens irrespective of race, religion or creed?

The refugee camp of the Internally Displaced People (IDPs) at Puthumurippu was under artillery shelling at 4.30 p.m. on 30.08.2008. A young child, a month old infant, (see pics) two women and a man were killed on the spot. All are innocent civilians. A girl of 17 and two children 06 years and 10 month old were seriously injured. All the three were rushed to the Kilinochchi district hospital.    

Those affected in this gruesome attack are originally from Parappukadanthan in Mannar district. Due to the artillery shelling by the SLA they all moved to Kalliyadi. When the shelling followed them, they moved further to Paliyaru, then to Mullankavil and Vanneri before they finally reached Puthumurippu in the Kilinochchi district. Due to military activities Puthumurippu in sparsely populated. Unfortunately the shell fell amidst their houses. That was the cause for this disaster.

All those affected in this tragedy are related to each other. The one month old infant who was killed has still not been named. The bodies of all the people killed were buried in one grave in Konavil on the following day.

 The place of this tragedy was photographed by the doctors from the Medisin Sans Frontier (MSF), which is from France. 

02 year old Gowtham is besides his father, who also died with him. His devastated mother is weeping by their beds.

 

The unnamed 01 month old innocent baby is lying lifeless. What crime did the baby do to deserve this?

 

Those Killed are:

  • Karuppiah Anantharasa, 28.
  • Anantharasa Gowtham  02.
  • Visvanathan Thilakes 35.
  • Infant (unnamed) 01 month old.
  • Alakesan Niluka Pathmalatha 28.

Those Injured:

  • Alakesan Elilvili  10  months old
  • Visvanathan Thiviyan  06
  • Balasubramaniyam Rajeswari  17

The injured Miss Rajeswary Balasubramanium states:

Miss.B. Rajeswari, 17, lying unconscious

We are originally from Parappukadanthan in Mannar. We evacuated from there on 03.09.2007 due to shelling and went to Kalliyadi and stayed there for a short time before we shifted to Paliyaru. Again we moved to Mullankavil before coming to Vanneri. We left Vanneri only on the 21st instant and reached Puthumurippu. Here too we heard the sounds of the shelling intermittently. In our house my mother, cousin, my sister’s child and I were the only occupants at the time, when the shell exploded. I did not know as to what happened thereafter. I woke up in the hospital only. “

This is not a stray event of the government forces bombing or shelling the Tamil refugees. There have been many instances before. I may quote a few of the refugees being shelled or bombed:

  • 15.07.1986 Refugee camp at Peruveli in Trincmalee; 48 were killed and 20 injured.
  • 19.07.1995 St.Peter’s Church at Navali: Pamphlets were dropped from helicopters advising the people of Navali to move into this Church for security reasons. Thereafter several bombs were dropped on the same Church killing 155 people; mostly women and children and injuring 150.
  • 26.09.1996 Mullai - Vavunikulam refugee’s colony was bombed; 04 killed 12 injured.
  • 27.09.1996 Kilinochchi Konavil camp bombed; 05 killed and many injured.
  • 15.09.1999 Manthuvil, Puthukudiyiruppu bombed; 13 killed 40 injured.
  • 20.11.1999 Camps around the Holy Shrine at Madhu was shelled; 31 killed and over 60 injured.
  • 06.08.2006 Muthur - Trinco camp bombed; 20 killed 15 injured
  • 10.08.2006 Vakarai, Kathiraveli, Verukal, Eachchilampattu and Muthur East several camps bombed; 75 killed over 200 injured.
  • 28.08.2006 Camp atPaatalipuram - Trinco shelled; 20 killed 26 injured.
  • 08.11.2006 Vakarai Batticaloa camp shelled; 50 killed 125 injured.
  • 09/10.12.2006 Vakarai Paatchenai and Vammi Vedduvan camps shelled; 20 killed 35 injured.
  • 08/09.03.2007 Paduvankarai, Batticaloa camp shelled; 04 killed 07 injured.
  • 29.03.2007 the refugees who went back to pick up some of the things they left behind were shelled; all the were 09 killed.
  • 01.09.2007 Refugees from Mannar - Silavattai, Mullikulam; 09 killed 04 injured.
  • 18.10.2007 Refugees fleeing to India by boat were shelled; 03 killed and 3 injured on the Mannar sea.
  • 25.10.2007 Periyamadhu, Mannar IDP Camp; 3 killed and 9 injured.
  • 13.11.2007 Holy Shrine at Madhu; one child playing outside the Church was killed one injured.

Madhu Church: This holy shrine has been subject to several bombing episodes quite frequently despite of it being a well known religious and respected shrine both by the Tamils and the Sinhalese.

Shelling indiscriminately is a highly inhuman act. The army or the government for that matter does not care, as to where the shells fall. This only illustrates that their targets are not the LTTE in particular but the Tamils also in general. This is very unbecoming for a so-called “democratic” government, which has an obligation to its citizens.

In fairness to the government I must say that it showed its “humane quality” in the early 1970s and in 1989, when they were confronted by the then “Terrorists” the Jathika Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP). No bombs were dropped or shells fired even on the JVP bases; let alone the Sinhalese civilians. It is obvious to everyone as to why the government does not show the same “humane” attitude towards the Tamils. One wonders whether the government considers Tamils as dispensable but not the Sinhalese. Aren’t the Tamils also the citizens of the same government? Isn’t it the profound duty of the government to protect and safeguard all its citizens irrespective of race, religion or creed?

Are we to presume from this that we the Tamils need a government of our own to provide protection for us? Isn’t it logical thinking?

K.Mylvaganam
Reporting from Vanni
kmylvaganam1974@gmail.com

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