Ex-garrison town schools await succour

[TamilNet, Thursday, 24 January 2002, 13:31 GMT]
More than forty schools in the Kilinochchi education zone were damaged by floods in the region during the recent monsoon, officials said. Most of these schools were functioning in temporary sheds as their permanent structures have been destroyed in heavy bombing and shelling since 1996 when the Sri Lanka army captured and garrisoned the town. Education officials said they have not received funds for repairs although damaged to the temporary shacks and partially destroyed buildings in which children study has been estimated at 5 million rupees (53,000 USD). The Liberation Tigers overran the large SLA garrison in Kilinochchi in September 1998.

"We have little hope for repairing whatever that remains now of the schools' permanent structures because the authorities do seem to have any intention of sending building materials for the purpose", an official said.

Among the schools damaged by the recent floods are the Elephant Pass Govt. Tamil Mixed School (GTMS), Paranthan GTMS, Paranthan Hindu Mahaviththiyalayam, Umaiyaalpuram GTMS and the Thattuvankoddi GTMS.

These schools were occupied by the military inside the SLA's sprawling Paranthan Elephant Pass base until May 2000 when the Liberation Tigers overran the strategic gateway to the northern Jaffna peninsula.

The schools were reopened after more than a decade after de-mining units of the LTTE cleared the area. Thousands children from these changed several schools as their families fled the Sri Lanka army’s advance from village to village since 1996.

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