News in Brief:

[TamilNet, Saturday, 29 May 1999, 14:07 GMT]
More than a thousand of the students studying at Mulankaavil High School in Kilinochchi have suffered loss or injury because of the war; Harassment of Thiraikerni villagers investigated and World Food Program feeds refugees.

Impact of war on students

More than a thousand of the students studying at Mulankaavil High School in Kilinochchi have suffered loss or injury because of the war, said sources at the Department of Education.

A recent survey conducted at the school showed that 501 students had lost both their parents while 195 had lost one parent. Seventy five of the students had lost a brother or sister in the war.

The survey showed that 14 students had been disabled and 159 had lost their main source of family income and so were finding it difficult to continue with their studies.

Officials said that 76 students are only able to continue with their studies with the help of charitable bodies such as Kurukulam, a religious organisation, the Social Development Organisation and the Students Organisation that function in the area.

The survey also showed that 72 students were forced to leave their studies because of poverty that meant that they were unable to buy food, clothes and other essentials.

People in the area said that the war had particularly affected Tamil students and this would definitely handicap the future of Tamil society.

Harassment of Thiraikerni villagers investigated

The harassment of a Tamil villagers in Thiraikerni, a village in Amparai, by a group of masked men has been brought to the attention of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka.

Mr.R. Manoharan, the regional co-ordinator of the Human Rights Commision, based in Kalmunai, recently visited Thiraikerni and recorded statements from the villagers.

Accoring to statements recorded so far there have been four incidents in May; on May 8 a woman was raped, on May 9 the home of a villager, Alagamma was set on fire, on May 19 the home of another villager, Kualnthaivelu, was burgled and on May 22 a gang of masked men entered the home of a widow, S.Arulamma, and opened fire injuring her. She is currently receiving treatment at the Akaraipattu hospital.

The village continues to be terrorised by a group of four or five armed men. A memorandum to this effect has been sent to Mr.T.Suntheralingam, a member of the Human Rights Commission.

World Food Program feeds refugees

Tamil refugees in camps in Thirukovil, Amparai, are to be given free dry rations under the United Nations' World Food Program, with effect from July, said the Divisional Secretary of Thirukovil, Mr.S.Amalanathan.

One thousand and sixty seven Tamil refugee families have been living in four camps in Thirukovil for the past nine years.

The refugees have been displaced from the villages of Thangavelauthapuram, Kanchchikudicha Aru, Sagamam and Alikambai.

They are now receiving free dry rations from the Commissioner of Essential Services. Dry rations to the value of Rs.860,000 rupees are being distributed to the refugees monthly.

The distribution of dry rations by the Commissioner of Essential Services will be stopped by the end of June. The new distribution scheme under the UN's World Food Program would commence from the month of July, said Mr. Amalanathan.


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