Only 26 respond to Rajapaksa's 48-hour ultimatum
[TamilNet, Saturday, 31 January 2009, 12:11 GMT]
In the last 48-hours, only 26 civilians have crossed through Oamanthai into Sri Lankan government controlled area, District Secretariat sources in Vavuniyaa said Saturday evening. Meanwhile, Sri Lankan military sources put the number of civilians who crossed Oamanthai at 65. In the meantime, the representatives of the Internally Displaced People in Vanni have expressed fear that many hundreds of civilians are going to perish within the next few hours as a Sri Lankan military official in Colombo said the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) would go on an "all out operation" to "eliminate the remaining Tigers" after the lapse of 48-hour ultimatum.
The ICRC and medical authorities in Vanni have found it difficult to evacuate 300 more injured civilians, as they were unable to get assurance for a safe passage to reach Vavuniyaa, according to medical sources at Udaiyaarkaddu hospital.
In the meantime, more than 12 civilians were wounded and at least 2 killed in artillery and Multi-Barrel-Rocket Launcher (MBRL) fire on Chuthanthirapuram 'safety zone' on Saturday.