SLA accused of burning refuge
[TamilNet, Sunday, 02 January 2005, 13:41 GMT]
A hut at a refuge sheltering 67 families displaced by the tsunami to Kudathanai, Vadamaradchi, Jaffna, was burnt and all the males assaulted in an attack that has been blamed on soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army. Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian Mr. M. K. Sivajilingam had accused local Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers of being responsible for the attack, which left at least three people hospitalized and forced all 67 families to seek new shelter.
The 67 families were displaced, and forced to seek shelter at the American Mission Tamil Mixed School in Kudathanai North, in the Vadamaradchi coastal region.
Between 15 and 20 soldiers went to the school on Saturday night, allegedly to hand out food. Those at the refuge refused the offer as they were already being assisted by a Tamil aid organization.
When the displaced people refused to deal with them, the soldiers went away.
Fifteen minutes later, a group of nearly 200 attackers came to the refuge, according to the refugees stationed in the school. They went into the school and attacked all the men who had sought refuge there.
Three men were admitted to Valvettithurai and Parithithurai hospitals, including on refugee aged 25 and two persons who were assisting in handing out essential aid to the refugees.
The attackers then lit a hut containing all the possessions of the refugees, depriving them of even the little they had managed to salvage when displaced, a refugee who fled the scene said.
The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) was informed of the attack Saturday night. On Sunday morning, SLMM representatives and Point Pedro police visited the site to begin investigations.
The displaced families are now being housed in a local Catholic church in Kudaththanai.