Wounded civilians treated under trees, warded in bunkers
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 10 February 2009, 00:58 GMT]
The makeshift hospitals in Vanni that have been forced to relocate amidst artillery and aerial attacks that followed after Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa publicly claimed that the medical facilities outside the so-called 'no fire zone' would be regarded as legitimate military targets by his forces. The hospitals, struggling to treat the wounded, are operating under the trees and bunkers have been turned to wards to treat the seriously wounded.
Wounded civilians being treated under the trees in front of a makeshift hospital. TamilNet avoids mentioning the name of the locality of the makeshift hospital as medical facilities are targeted by Sri Lankan forces.
As medical facilities, both within and outside the government announced safe-zones have been targeted by the Sri Lanka Army and the Sri Lanka Air Force, some of the patients at the makeshift hospitals have urged to place them inside the bunkers, medical authorities said.
The hospitals are unable to treat ordinary patients as the medical staff are all struggling to attend the wounded patients being brought to the hospitals throughout the day. Relentless shelling has kept all the makeshift hospitals hectic and many of the wounded patients, after first aid, complain that it takes hours to be transported to hospital and they have to wait again for hours at the hospitals to receive treatment.
Hospitals are functioning under pressing conditions without medical supplies. Supplies for December 2008 and January 2009 are yet to be allowed inside Vanni by the Sri Lankan military in Vavuniyaa.
Refusing to allow the free passage of all consignments of medical and hospital stores is a violation of International Law.