Disease worst problem in Vanni - Church
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 25 March 1998, 23:59 GMT]
The Vicar General of the Jaffna Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church J. B. C Selvarajah, who visited a number of refugee camps in the northern parts of the Vanni, said that among the ravages faced by the Tamil refugees, disease and sickness were the worst.
The SLA troops, who swooped on the playing field while the sports meet was going on, rounded up all males
present, numbering around 100, and took them to another location nearby, where they were forced to squat under
the burning sun until the process of verifying whether they were Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)
supporters or members was completed.
The northern Vanni refugee camps come under the Jaffna Diocese, which spans the Jaffna and Kilinochchi districts
Vicar General Rev. Selvarajah, who toured the camps in Madhu, Naachikudah, Mulankavil, Vannerikkulam, Palavrayan Kulam and others, said that malaria and typhoid were widespread in the Vanni, and that many of the victims were suffering from relapses which was caused by the conditions in which they were forced to live.
He said that even when the sick refugees were treated for their ailments, full recuperation was not possible for many as they are repeatedly displaced by the fighting.
When the patients are displaced, they have to go through the process of obtaining treatment for their illness all over again at the place where they are relocated.
This takes a considerable period and results in the disease recurring - often in a more virulent form.