Eachchilampathu IDPs face dire shortage of food

[TamilNet, Monday, 21 August 2006, 03:18 GMT]
About 12 thousand internally displaced Tamils from 2956 families trapped in LTTE held villages in Eachchilampathu division in the Trincomalee district following continuous aerial bombardment and artillery fire directed by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) from its military installations in east port town and its suburbs have been facing starvation as food and essential materials are not supplied by non-governmental organizations and the government agencies since the fighting broke out, civil sources said.

Mr.K.Thurairatnasingham, Trincomalee district parliamentarian who hails from Kaddaiparichchan village in Muttur east said the civil administrators in the district are not taking any steps to provide these people with relief assistance but are only interested in IDPs in government controlled areas.

Most of the school buildings and concrete structures in these areas have been damaged due to frequent artillery fire and aerial bombardment which started on April 25. About 40,000 IDPs from Muthur east and Eachilampathu fled to Vaharai division in Batticaloa through Verugal when the SLA directed its indiscriminate aerial bombardment and artillery fire. However, about 12 thousand IDPs were unable to move to Vaharai when the SLA intensified its offensive and were trapped in Eachchilampathu division, sources said.

Only volunteers of Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) staying in Eachchilampathu division are looking after these IDPs with limited stock of food available on the ground. These IDPs have been staying in Ilankaithurai (137), Verugal Muhathuwaram (504), Karukamunai (299), Poonagar (388), Poomarathadichchenai (230), Aanaithivu (315), Verugal (369), Ilankaithurai Muhathuwaram (549) and Eachchilampathu (165), sources said.

Entry points to LTTE held Muttur east through Kaddaiparichchan SLA camp and to Eachchilampathu division through Mahindapura SLA camp have been completely closed for civilian movement and transport of food and essential items from government controlled territory in Muttur division since the outbreak of fighting between the SLA and LTTE, sources said.

Government agencies and NGOs are supplying relief assistance to IDPs staying in government controlled areas in Muthur and Serunuwara divisions but no action is being taken supply relief to Tamil IDPs trapped in Eachchilampathu division.

Meanwhile, situation of the IDPs in Eachchilampathu has been further worsened due to heavy rain the last two days. They have no proper shelter as most of the IDPs are staying under tree shades and damaged buildings. In addition SLA has directed its artillery fire and MBRL towards Muthur east and Eachchilampathu intermittently, residents said.


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