Sri Lankan soldiers block food supply to Tamil IDPs
[TamilNet, Friday, 11 August 2006, 07:14 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers in the Mankerni army camp in Batticaloa district Thursday refused permission for a food convoy of more than ten vehicles taken to Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) held Vaharai area by the South Indian Church to be distributed among hundreds of thousands of internally displaced fled from Muthur east and Eachchilampathu due to indiscriminate artillery fire and aerial bombardment in recent days. The IDPs have been staying in temples. Schools and public buildings at Palsenai, Vammivedduwan, Vaharai in the Koralaipathu North Divisional Secretariat division in the Batticaloa district, sources said.
Fr. E.P.Solomon of the Batticaloa St.John's Church of South Indian Diocese led the food convoy Thursday morning around 9:30 a.m.
Soldiers in the Mankerni SLA camp stopped the convoy from entering the LTTE held area saying that they had not received orders from their higher-ups to allow the convoy.
Fr.Solomon accompanied by Mr.S.Giritharan, Vaharai Divisional Secretary and Miss Rahulanayaki, Assistant Divisional Secretary showed the letter of authority of the Government Agent Mr. C.Punniyamoorthy to SLA officials at the site. But the SLA soldiers refused to accept the letter.
Mr.Punnyamoorthy earlier paid a visit to Vaharai and other areas where thousands of IDPs are sheltered and noted these IDPs face starvation without enough food and medical assistance for the injured in the aerial and artillery attack.