Brain fever compells SL Police to pull out

[TamilNet, Monday, 03 November 1997, 23:59 GMT]
A large number of camps and sentry points established by the Sri Lankan government on the forest covered border between the Puttlalam and Mannar districts were abandoned this week.

The cause of this is neither the demand for manpower in the Vanni which has compelled the SL government to pull out troops from the east and Jaffna nor an overwhelming military threat from the LTTE.

Instead, it is brain fever that has hit the beleaguered military trained units of the Sri Lankan Police this time in the thick jungles north of Puttalam on the Mannar border.

The government was compelled to pull out specially trained Police units set up to prevent the Liberation Tigers from entering the Puttlalam district and gaining unhindered access to the strategic west coast after two Policemen in one of these detachments died this week of brain fever (Japanese Encephalitis).

Thirty five Policemen in various checkpoints and detachments along the Mannar - Puttalam border have been hit by the much dreaded fever.

The epidemic is attributed to the onset of the monsoons in the northern province which come hard on the forest covered parts of southern Mannar.

The poorly maintained wood and mud bunkers in which Policemen are forced to spend nights and even days are flooded.

Most of these units are neglected by the high command of the Sri Lankan security forces.

Policemen have refused to go to the Mannar border after news of the brain fever spread among security forces personnel in Puttlalam and other parts of the west coast.

Police officials in the area have complained to the Deputy Inspector General of Police in Chilaw that no action has been taken thus far by the medical authorities despite several urgent appeals sent by them.


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