Jaffna terrorized, held hostage by fear- TNA
[TamilNet, Saturday, 23 September 2006, 18:22 GMT]
150,000 school children, 7,000 University students and 3,000 Technical College students remain unable to attend schools, campuses for more than 40 days in the Jaffna peninsula where the residents are "terrorized and held hostage by fear," said Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian of Jaffna District, N. Raviraj, at a press conference held in Renuka Hotel Colombo at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. TNA MPs from five districts addressed the press.
"Tens of thousands of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) are leading an uncertain life. Relief supplies have reached alarmingly low levels, and without fresh supply of relief provisions, the IDPs face a dismal future," said K. Thurairetnasingam MP from Trincomalee District.
The press briefing was held while Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse, accompanied by a delegation of more than 60 politicians and officials, was attending the (Non-aligned Movement) NAM in Havana, and UN meetings in New York.
TNA MPs Saturday severely criticized the Sri lankan government as responsible for creating a climate of terror in the Northeast.
"We want to tell the international community as well as the Sinhala people in the south that twice earlier the Sri Lankan Government had agreed to resume talks in both instances after co-chairs called on the parties to start talks. Later, however, the Government denied they agreed for talks," Mr. Raviraj said.
Teenage children are being killed, and scores have dissappeared. Even the UN agencies like UNICEF have been quite about the plight of thousands of children," Raviraj said.
In Batticaloa and Amparai, many children were being abducted by paramilitaries, he said further.
"The Government Agent (GA) in Trincomalee District which is 70% Tamil, is a former military official, and humanitarian issues are not high on his administration's list of priorities," said Trincomalee MP Mr. Thurairetnasingham.
"IDPs are undergoing severe hardship under his administration. Even basic health facilities in the refugee camps are not available. Two children died due to diarrhea only a few days ago clearly points to unacceptable conditions in these camps. Eachilampattu hospital which was reopened recently has only one doctor and two workers. Urgent action is needed to address health issues in my district," the MP said.
The parliamentarians also accused the Government of freezing the bank accounts of Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO), thereby blocking the main humanitarian and relief agency in the NorthEast from carrying out relief work.
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarians N. Raviraj, K.Sivanesan, S. Kajendran, Pathmini Sithamparanathan, K. Thurairatnasingam, K. Thangeswari, K. Pathmanahan and S. Kanakaratnam, representing five districts in NorthEast, Amparai, Batticaloa, Jaffna, Vavuniya and Trincomalee, addressed the press at Hotel Renuka.
Vanni district parliamentarian Sathasivam Kanagaratnam showing the photos of 51 schoolgirls killed in Sri Lanka Air Force bombing on Vallipunam.