65 Vanni patients transferred to Mannaar, relatives languish in internment camp
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 03 February 2009, 20:43 GMT]
Sixty-five seriously wounded patients brought to Vavuniyaa by the ICRC last week have been transferred to Mannaar hospital and admitted there under strict military surveillance, medical sources in Mannaar said. Meanwhile, twelve relatives of the patients, who accompanied them from Vanni to provide care and separated by the SLA at Oamanthai, are still languishing at Nelullku'lam internment camp. The patients in Mannaar, most of them young children and elderly, who have lost either both legs or both hands and need personal care by close family members, have urged the authorities to allow their relatives to be with them as initially facilitated by the ICRC.
With number of wounded civilians overflowing the capacity, and stretching the resources of the Vavuniyaa Hospital, 28 patients were transferred on Thursday 29th January, and thirty-seven were transferred Sunday.
Fifty-seven relatives who earlier came with injured Vanni victims admitted to Vavuniyaa Hospital are already held in the internment camp at Manik Farm and Nelukku'lam internment camps in Vavuniyaa under strict surveillance by the SLA.
Hospital sources said preparations were being made to accommodate several more expected injured patients. Previously abandoned furniture, including beds, were hurriedly repaired for the three new wards temporarily built to house the new arrivals.
In the meantime, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Member of Parliament (MP) for Vanni, Selvam Adaikalanaathan, visited the injured victims Monday evening and again on Tuesday morning.
The SLA soldiers who were initially present at the wards in military uniforms are now deployed in civilian clothes monitoring the patients and the visitors. Patients are being routinely questioned after the visit of locally resident relatives.
A 10-year old injured child was fortunate to have a distant relative who was a resident of Mannaar.
There are also three patients with serious burn injuries. The injuries were caused by accidental fire caused by the use of kerosene lamp in the jungles.