LTTE urges aid for Amparai as fighters conduct relief operations
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 04 January 2005, 07:24 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers‚ warned Monday that the recent heavy flooding in the Amparai district has exacerbated the risk of disease by dislodging bodies of victims of the Asian tsunami disaster. The Tigers' top commander in the region, Col. Banu, who crossed into Sri Lanka Army controlled territory with a section of of LTTE troops, is coordinating rescue and relief efforts in the multi-ethnic region, the LTTE's Centre for Emergency Assessment in Kalavanchykuddy said in press release Monday.
"For the past few days, the whole of Batticaloa-Amparai district has been affected by heavy rain and flooding which has dislodged many bodies that are now floating into residential areas," the statement said.
"Inevitably, this has increased the spread of infectious diseases," it said.
"The sudden tsunami disaster has resulted in large numbers of homeless people, many of whom are injured," the LTTE pointed out. "Some people are staying in friends’ or relatives’ houses, but many more are now at welfare centres without the basic facilities and in overcrowded places."
It urged those living in welfare centres to follow advice given by the Tamil Eelam Health service and Department of Health service for Batticaloa district so as to prevent infectious diseases from spreading.
The LTTE urged the public to be vigilant against yellow fever, cholera, airborne diseases, malaria and rashes. The statement urged the more able bodied to help the young and elderly, and if any unfamiliar symptoms are spotted to seek medical advice promptly.
The Tamil Eelam Health Service has warned people to drink only boiled or chlorinated water, to use lavatories and if there are no lavatories then to properly bury human waste, to wash hands with soap after using the lavatory, to dispose of all the regular household waste promptly, without allowing it to accumilate.
The LTTE Political Wing in the Batticaloa-Amparai region also called Monday for urgent assistance for the devastated communities there.
"The people of the Ampara district have lost over 13,000 to the tsunami disaster," an urgent appeal by the LTTE said.
The recent heavy rain has flooded places such as Akkarapattu, with water coming up to 3 feet high. Floodwater is a serious hazard to people living in the welfare centres with basic facilities, the statement said.
"It is our duty to help these grief stricken people," the LTTE said in its public appeal.
The LTTE urged people in other parts of the island to "come forward to help these people in need" pointing out the immense suffering that was ongoing.
"Young babies are crying for milk, elderly people are suffering from the monsoon cold, and mothers are grief-stricken at the deaths of their children."
"Drinking water, food, clothing and medicine should be distributed to the people, from all ethnic communities, who are staying in the welfare centres," the LTTE said.
"Rescue and rehabilitation efforts still need to be carried out in these districts," the LTTE said, adding that it had dispatched large forces to undertake these tasks.
The LTTE’s elite Jeyanthan Regiment, under the supervision of Col. Banu, Special Commander for the Batticaloa-Ampara region, was already deployed in the tsunami-struck parts of Ampara, it said.
Tiger troops are working alongside the Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) and the Sri Lankan police commandos of the Special Task Force (STF), the LTTE said.
"All of these relief efforts are conducted with the help of the Government Agents, District Secretariats, Grama Sevaga officers, Special Task Force (STF) and police officials, Muslim community heads, mosque officials, international aid organisations and school students, and medical volunteers and doctors," the LTTE said.
LTTE officials Commander Ram and Ms Kuveni are coordinating relief efforts in the Kalmunai region. Coordinating activities are being conducted by Mr Thangavel.
Other LTTE cadres are coordination efforts in Karaitheevu. Mr Atheeswaren and other LTTE cadres are doing so in Naveethan district, while Mr Kuyilinpam and Mr Jenathan are coordinating in Thirukovil, Alayadyvembu, Pothuvil, Sampanthurai, Ninthaoor, Sainthamaruthu areas.