Ilankai Tamil Sangam

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Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

Email from Vanni Inhabitant

February 9, 2009

In Nelukula Camp, people are packed up in small rooms. In a small room 32 are accommodated. They are kept as prisoners. Nobody is allowed to visit them. Army are all around. They are given this and that to the people by some NGO's, but people say that we do not want material things what we want is to allow us to live as human beings.

This is what I heard from the battle zone:

"The Sri Lankan army continues to shell and bomb on places wherever people sought asylum, especially places which are announced as 'safe-zones.'  It is entirely dangerous to travel along the Puthukudiriuppu - Paranthan road. Along this road, human flesh are found on the trees and along the roadside. People are flooding towards this announced 'safe-zone.' Many are under the trees. They are exposed to hot sun and heavy rain. No food is available. Due to starvation some people have broken into the ICRC food store and stolen the food items. Therefore, others are experiencing terrible starvation.

While people were flooding towards this 'safe-zone,' one barbaric event happened. The refugees were flooding towards this 'safe-zone,' and the AGA officers were distributing food items for this big crowd. The army started heavy shelling; on the spot 300 died and many were injured. I am the eyewitness.

There are many dead bodies all over. The problem is that nobody is coming out of the bunkers to bury the bodies.

For three weeks I have experienced terrible suffering. Still I am unable to come out of it.

People find shelter in the bunkers. They make small rotty and eat it with
tea."

My experience:

In Menic Farm the state of the people is very, very pathetic. They are treated like prisoners. They shared that they are given food, but when they eat them they experience many stomach problems.

They are not allowed to go out.  They go to a river-side for bathing. For this bath, seven or eight army accompanies them. Even when the women have bath these army men are looking at them and it is terrible for them to have such kind of bath. Many children are not given any education facility. The small rooms are made out of 'Thakaram.' It is very difficulty for them to stay inside during hot times. They are not given enough soap items. Children are not given proper milk powder.

In Nelukula Camp, people are packed up in small rooms. In a small room 32 are accommodated. They are kept as prisoners. Nobody is allowed to visit them. Army are all around. They are given this and that to the people by some NGO's, but people say that we do not want material things what we want is to allow us to live as human beings.

In a room 17 elderly people are kept. Some are blind; some cannot walk, some have sever sicknesses. They are not looked after well. With the help of the Sisters of Missionaries of Charity 7 are released and put in their home.

At the Vavuniya hospital

In the Vavuniya hospital people are not allowed to meet the sick. When the wounded are brought from Vanni they are kept in the Vavuniya hospital under strict security. The bystanders are immediately sent to Nelukula camp.

A few days back they brought 264 causalities and 154 bystanders. The 154 bytanders are immediately taken to the Nelukula Camp. So the husband is in the hospital and the wife is in the camp. What a hell. The husband is crying for his wife in the hospital, while the wife is crying for her husband at the camp. Exactly there cannot be any more serious kind of human rights violation than this.

The Government is asking the people to come out of Vanni. How can they come? Those who have come are treated as prisoners. People say that they would have stayed there than to suffer here.