Colombo creates human crisis at entry point - Nadesan
[TamilNet, Thursday, 13 November 2008, 10:54 GMT]
The closure of entry point at Oamanthai in Vavuniyaa by the Colombo government for the last three days has created a human crisis affecting emergency patients and supply of medicines to civilian hospitals, said B. Nadesan, the political head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam (LTTE) on Thursday. Intense shelling by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) on the entry point has made the ICRC officials posted there to leave. "By imposing a sanction on food, medicine and by maintaining an inhumane economic blockade, the Sri Lankan government is pinpointing the war at the civilians, disregarding International norms to be observed. The indications are that Colombo is adamant in pursuing an aggressive war," he told TamilNet.
"The LTTE has always extended full cooperation to the ICRC in operating the entry point. The stipulated working hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. But, the Sri Lanka Army has limited the timings to be between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Even this limited facility was stopped for the last few days," Mr. Nadesan said.
Meanwhile, medical officials in Vanni said that at least two civilians have died in recent days without being able to make through the entry point to reach Vavuniyaa hospital.
Every time a convoy of medical supplies leaves for Vanni, the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defence (MoD) authorities grant them permission to pass through the entry point. But, the military officials manning the entry point will find some petty excuse to deny entry to the convoy or to delay it. Sometimes after much scrutiny they may allow just one or two lorries of the convoy, say the medical officials at the hospitals of Mullaiththeevu and Ki'linochchi. Recently, a lorry with oxygen cylinders has been held back at Oamanthai for several days while acute shortage of oxygen prevailed in the intensive care units of the hospitals.