72,000 displaced from Batticaloa, Trincomalee districts
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 28 November 2006, 01:47 GMT]
Batticaloa District Secretariat reported Monday that 41,463 people from Trincomalee district and 30,630 people from Batticaloa have fled to the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) controlled areas in the Batticaloa district from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) held areas. Mr. S. Puniyamoorthy the District Secretary said that the Internally Displaced People have been sheltered in 22 temporary locations in 14 Grama Seveka divisions in Batticaloa district.
Earlier, residents of Muthur, Sambur and Eechilampattai in Trincomalee district had fled from their villages in fear of the continuous SLA shelling and artillery fire seeking refuge in Vaharai and Kathiraveli in the LTTE held areas in Batticaloa district.
These IDPs were again subjected to SLA shelling and artillery fire besides being driven to starvation by the SLA ban on food and other essentials taken to them.
45 IDPs were killed and 125 seriously injured when the SLA shelled Kathiraveli Vigneswara Vidyalayam where the IDPs were sheltered.
Similarly, residents of Vellaveli in LTTE held area have fled their villages in fear of the Special Task Force (STF) of the SLA offensives to SLA controlled areas in Batticaloa district.
The IDPs stay in temporary shelters constructed in Valaichenai, Chenkalady, Batticaloa and Arayampathy areas, Batticaloa Secretariat sources said.
A team headed by the Government Agent is taking care of the immediate needs of the IDPs with the assistance of several Non-governmental Organisations, the sources added.