TRO condemns SLAF bombing of IDP fisher community

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 11 July 2007, 18:33 GMT]
Pointing out that the fisher community hit by death and injuries by Wednesday bombing raid by Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) Kfir fast attack crafts was one that was receiving assistance from the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO), TRO in a press release issued Wednesday, condemned the attack on civilians and urged the "International humanitarian community to pressure the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) to ensure that civilians are not [made] targets of their attacks."

Full text of the press release follows:

TRO condemns the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) Kfir jet bombing of Alampil, Mullaitivu that has resulted in two civilians being killed, a 15 year-old boy and a 51-year-old woman, and 9 injured. TRO has been providing assistance to this community since it was devastated by the tsunami in December 2004. TRO built temporary shelters and provided boats, nets and other fishing equipment so that the community could restart their livelihoods.

Due to the actions of the Sri Lanka Navy, which has fired upon the fishing boats in the past, the fishermen were confined to "shore net" fishing rather than the preferred deep sea fishing.

Two of the buildings damaged in this SLAF bombing were built post tsunami for the storing and seasoning the catch.

The humanitarian and human rights situation in Sri Lanka has reach a critical situation and TRO calls for the international humanitarian community to pressure the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) to ensure that civilians are not the targets of their attacks.

Over the past two years numerous TRO projects and IDP camps have been attacked by GoSL security forces. These include:

  • 10 December 2006: 40 people killed and 100 injured when GoSL forces shelled 3 TRO IDP camps in Paalchchenai, Kandaladi and Vammivadduvan
  • 8 November 2006: Kathirave'li 47 people killed and 136 injured when GoSL forces shelled a TRO IDP camp and TRO Sonobo Children's Home was damaged with 12 children injured.
  • August 2006: TRO boat making yard in Eachchilampaththu shelled by the Sri Lanka Air Force. Details not known due to lack of access. Eachchilampaththu is currently a no man's land.
  • 19 August 2006: A boat making yard built by TRO to repair and re-supply tsunami affected fishermen with boats was bombed by the Sri Lanka Air Force. All boats under construction (or finished) were destroyed as was the store room and the main building.
  • 26 April 2006: GoSL forces shelled and bombed civilian areas of the Trincomalee District: TRO Santhosam Children's Home (40 orphans live in the home) damaged by a Kfir bomb; TRO's office at Kadakarachchenai damaged by bombing/shelling; TRO Moothoor / Eachchilampaththu office attacked/bombed food store damaged

    Arjunan Ethirveerasingam
    Media Relations TRO (Colombo)


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