30,000 newly displaced in Mannar
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 24 March 1999, 12:38 GMT]
More than than thirty thousand people have been displaced in the western sector of mainland Mannar due to shelling and the recent army operation to take Madhu said sources in the area today.
Civilians in the villages of Parappukkandal,Aandaankulam, Adampan, Paalaiyadi, Adampanthaalvu, Puthukkulam, Paasimoddai, Kaaththaankulam, Pallamadu, Karungkandal have fled their homes since this weekend towards safer areas further north such as Kalliady and Iluppaikkadavai.
The Mannar Mainland Farmers' Association President Seemampillai Sounthiranayagam who arrived in Mannar town today told government officials that the refugees are facing severe harship as there is no food or shelter available in the areas to which they have fled.
He said that the situation is particularly acute because people had to abandon their fields which were being harvested to flee.
If action is not taken to help people in these areas to harvest or protect their fields from ruin they will lose their main annual income he said.
Mr.Seemampillai informed the Mannar Kachcheri officials that more than three hundred people have found shelter in the St.Joseph's church at Karungkandal to protect their fields from cattle and wild boar.
He said that the farmers in the western sector of the Mannar district were expecting very high yields from this year's paddy harvest.
The government food convoy to the those areas of the Vanni controlled by the Liberation Tigers is yet to be sent since it was cancelled a week ago.
Meanwhile, sources in Vavuniya said that two generators for supplying electricity to Madhu have been despatched today and that steps have been taken to immediately start a bus service to the areas taken by Operation Rana Gosa II.
23.03.99 Operation Rana Gosa II takes Madhu
21.03.99 Displaced seek refuge in jungles