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7.1  Kandavallai : 21st August

7.2  11th August

7.4  A Refugee Family’s Ordeal

7.6  Operation Fort

7.7  Refuge in the jungle, 16th August:

7.8  Valaichenai - 23rd August

7.9  Students missing in Araipoddai, Kandy

7.1       Kandavallai : 21st August

The normal route from Vavuniya to Jaffna was blocked, and the Pooneryn ferry was bombed.  The route through Kandavalai across the bed of the lagoon - passable by light vehicles and persons on foot during summer - became the high road to Jaffna.  On this day one militant who was carrying a gun was also going along with others who crossed that open lagon bed.  One helicopter which was hovering above spotted the boy and gave a chase.  The travellers ran here and there for shelter.  Two priests were also there.  6 people dived for cover into a bush.  The militant boy also ran into the same bush.  The helicopter sprayed the bush and killed all of them.  They landed the helicopter and took off after a man had stripped the boy’s weapon.

The callousness of the government and the army has prevented the people from carrying out their normal lives.  The lack of humanity by helicopter gunners is only too commonplace

10th August : Chettikulam

25 civilians were dismembered by the army in Chettikulam.  They were hacked to death with their hands and legs severed.  Among those killed 3 were relatives of Sister Sagunthala, who belongs to the Sisters of Charity in Kollupitiya.  The information came from Roman Catholic authorities in the Mannar district.

7.2       11th August

A refugee at Madhu said that on the 11th the army rounded up 17 men in Vavuniya.  Only he had escaped death. m The rest, he said, had been shot and killed.  It was believed that this incident and the last one were reprisals for the blasting of a bridge, in which some soldiers were killed.

7.3 Thiruketheeswaram, 2nd August (From the Veerakesari)

According to the government sources, 5 sentry point which were in the neighbourhood of Thiruketheesweram railway station, Mannar, were destroyed by the security forces from Thallady camp. 

Following this, the security forces, who came in several armoured vehicles surrounded the Thiruketheesweram temple and fired at random.

They set fire to the ‘inn’ catering for sojourners and the temple trustee’s houses.  They also burnt the tractor and the lorry which brought refugees to the temple.  They, then opened all the stores and looted everything.  They also forced open the rest-houses and searched till noon.

The following day several hundreds of them came again in 3 lorries and were shooting at random in the temple premises.  They took away the generator and miscellaneous property belonging to the temple.  During the whole operation they did not evince any interest in terrorists.

In the whole operation they neither looked for the militants nor caught any of them.

7.4       A Refugee Family’s Ordeal

The letter given below was written by a person from Pankulam, Trincomalee, whose family left that place due to army atrocities and are now at the              refugee camp in South India.  It appeared on the 27th Veerakesari.  He and his family had undergone lots of hardship since they left Pankulam.

            “After what has happened on 15.6.90, my family with other refugees, walked for about 30 miles and reached              Throughout that part of the journey we could not have either drinking water or food to eat.  We stayed there for 15 days.  From there we went to Mullaithivu by boat.  Through                   

            we arrived at              We stayed in the refugee camp for 3 days.  But there also the food situation was quite bad and I had only Rs.25 at that time.

            With intention of getting some money I cycled for about 70 miles to Jaffna with my sister’s only jewels,a pair of bangles and a ring.  There I Placed with a person whom I knew.  From Rs.5,000, I came down Rs.50.  He could not give even a cent.  So I returned back to      after 15 days.  I realized that if we do not get away from that place, we will have to die of starvation.  So we proceeded with the intention of going to India.

            On 8th August we walked 10 miles.  On the way a few elderly as well as little ones died of starvation.  One night we had to sleep in the jungle.  By God’s grace we became acquainted with a one footed carter who was generous enough to take us to        which was a 7 miles journey.  There a pot of drinking water was Sold at Rs.2.50.  We picked up some firewood from the crematorium and made rice porridge.

On 11th August we came to Thalaimannar from where we left for India giving Rs.650 each.”

7.5 The Rural North

The people living in the middle part of the North-East are relatively poor, when compared to the others.  Framing and fishing are their main livelihood.  This applies to most people from Mannar to Mulaithivu, and from Pallai to Mathavachi.  These people were the most affected by the wars that took place in the North-East.  In addition to army atrocities, farming and fishing were disrupted.  This forced many people to evacuate their place and seek refugee camp or go across to India.

According to government sources, the food that was sent to these people was a small fraction of what was needed there.  There were several cases of people who died of starvation without proper medical care or who committed suicide.  One such incident was at Palai where 12 in a family committed suicide, among whom 7 were boys and the father was an invalid.  This was reported in Parliament on the 27th August by a Tamil M.P.  M. Letchumi of Kilinochchi was among those who committed suicide due to starvation.  According to Veerakesari of 8th August, during June, July, in the Kilinochchi area alone 50 died.  More than 150 were injured.  On the 24th July the government imposed a 72 hrs curfew in Kilinochchi with the intention of putting up an army camp.  Kilinochchi was subject to heavy air attacks.  Many got stranded in Paranthan.  Few persons went missing.  Heavy damage was caused to property and agriculture due to bombing.  Many animals died to air attacks.  Nearly 200-3-- animals were found dead in Kilinochchi.

7.6       Operation Fort

An indefinite curfew was imposed in the Jaffna district, since the 24th (Wednesday) morning with leaflets air dropped in Jaffna warning people to stay indoors.  Since morning air force fighters and bombers have staffed LTTE position in the peninsula while the navy was firing shells from Karaingar.  2000 troops from two battalions were brought to Kayts by air and sea Kayts is one of the Island off the peninsula, 10 miles from the Jaffna Fort, where 50,000 civilians are living.  Within 3 days the army moved into Mandaithevu (another Island) and Allaipitty.  It was reported abroad by the Tigers that  there were heavy civilian casualties at Mandaithevu.  At the time of writing the operation to relieve Jaffna Fort is still going on.

The incidents given below are taken from the ‘Veerakesari’, which were confirmed by other sources.

7.7       Refuge in the jungle, 16th August:

Revenge killings of the Muslims and Tamils are still going on, even at the time we write this.  Most of the Tamil residences in Chenkallady, Eravur and Thannnamunai were burnt to ashes.  Many took refuge in a Catholic church at Chenkallady.  A Sexton of this Catholic church was hacked to death while several others were assaulted.  The refugees found that even the churches were not secure places.  They fled to the jungles out of fear.  Former M.P. Devanayagam’s brother Arasakone, who was a lawyer and a Sinnapoddyar were also among victims who were hacked to death.

Another Engineer Karunakaran and his brother from Eravur were missing.  The rest of his family reached Batticaloa.  This was reported by the Catholic priest of Chenkallady.  He also said that 15000 persons had taken to the jungle out of fear.

With the unrest and atrocities in Chenkallady and Eravur the number at the Eastern university at Vantharamoolai, which operates as a refugee camp was doubled.

According to the ~Veerakesari’ of the 25th, there were about 25 children, who had severe diarrhoea, at the Vantharamoolai refugee camp.  In another refugee camp at Batticaloa (Holy Cecilia College) 5 had diarrhoea.  The Red Cross had been helping such people to obtain treatment.  It was also reported that the number of doctors in Batticaloa was inadequate to grapple with the huge medical problem.

7.8       Valaichenai - 23rd August

7 buses  left for Colombo from Batticaloa on the 23rd of August, with an army escort.  The army escorted them up to Valaichenai and the home guards took over at that check point.  The home guards detained 25 of the passengers including 3 ladies.  On the way 7 others were also detained by the army when the buses stopped at the check points.

This was brought up in parliament and the defence minister agreed to take action.  Later, it was reported than 4 of them including all 3 ladies were handed over to the Batticaloa army camp, and 50 others to the Batticaloa prison.  The remaining 22 of them were not yet released.  This piece of detailed information was given by the security forces.

On the 25th August it was reported that a vehicle with 25 passengers was going from Eravur to Polonnaruwa.  Near Vantharamoolai, it was fired upon by a few who tried to stop the bus.  The bus 5 others were injured in that incident.

7.9       Students missing in Araipoddai, Kandy

M. Raviharan, V. Rajendran, Pushpamanoharan, V. Ratnalingam and V. Sothiyavan from Chavakachcheri were 5 students, who were following the Electronics Engineering course at the Araipoddai Technical College, Kandy.

They were staying together in Kandy.  On the 8th of July, 4 men in black uniforms went in night and put them in their jeeps and drove away.  They did not give ear to the land lady’s good recommendations about those students.  They only said that they were taking them just for an inquiry.

When the news got around the parents went and inquired at the police station as well the army camp at Araipoddai.  They denied that they ever apprehended such persons.  The anguished mothers came to Colombo and lamented to the C.W.C. officials to help them to find  their childrens’ whereabouts.


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