Gun positions threaten Pallai hospital
[TamilNet, Sunday, 02 April 2000, 03:20 GMT]
The medical officer in charge of the Pallai hospital, Dr.Senthil Nanthan Ambikaipakan, said today that he cannot run the hospital anymore as doctors and other staff are scared to come and work there. He said that the immediate environs of the hospital have become a battle zone and therefore the institution has to be either closed immediately or it has to be taken over and run by a neutral humanitarian organisation. Meanwhile, patients who were brought to Jaffna from the Pallai hospital yesterday said that the Sri Lanka army (SLA) has moved several artillery positions into the environs of the hospital.
Dr. Ambikaipakan said that injured persons who have to be hospitalised and treated are going away from the hospital with first aid and medicine out of fear.
Stocks of food and medicine are also fast running out at the Pallai hospital according to the doctor. He said that there has been no response to his appeal so far from authorities. Officials at the Jaffna teaching hospital said that they are considering Dr.Ambikaipakan's appeal.
One of them added that no co-ordinated action to handle the situation was possible at this juncture because international humanitarian organisations are being very cautious about getting near the war zone.
The doctor said that the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) had turned away at Chavakachcheri yesterday.