Feature Article

SLA massacred civilians in bunkers - medical worker

[TamilNet, Monday, 07 September 2009, 08:57 GMT]
The advancing Sri Lanka Army massacred civilians by paving their bunkers with tanks, by throwing explosives inside the bunkers and by shooting the injured, says a medical worker who came out of Muílíli-vaaykkaal during the last days of the war, became incarcerated in a camp and now escaped the island. "Around a hundred thousand captured civilians herded to Mullaiththeevu were kept in rows within barbed wires, most of the time without water or food under the hot sun, and were bullied and ill treated with arrogance," he writes in a lengthy note that reached TamilNet this week. The note in Tamil was provided by the Norwegian Tamils Health Organisation (NTHO), urging TamilNet not to reveal the identity of the health worker for reasons of his security.

The medical worker was injured in a fire-bomb attack of the SLA on May 12th.

On alleged earlier firing on civilians, who in desperation tried to get into SLA controlled area, and on violence in recruitment during the last days that especially affected the families of LTTE heroes and fighters, the medical worker attributed responsibility to some elements long infiltrated into the LTTE, to work on behalf of Colombo. LTTE senior ranks were shaken by such treachery, he writes.

Further personal observations culled out from his notes follow:

Colombo particularly targeted hospitals and makeshift hospitals. When people moved away from Ki'linochchi, its hospital started functioning in the school building at Udaiyaar-kaddu. More than two thousand shells were fired on this building by the SLA.

Kiílinochchi to Tharmapuram, Vaddakkachchi, Visuvamadu, Udaiyaar-kaddu, Puthukkudiyiruppu Ė until reaching Muílíli-vaaykkaal, at an average 50 civilians were killed every day in Sri Lankan attacks. 8000 were already killed before herded into Muílíli-vaaykkaal.

Medical work decimated and workers were shaken at the death of patients, nurses and workers.

When there were more than 300,000 people, Colombo sent food for only 30,000.

Important medicines such as anaesthetic drugs were not sent. Life-saving surgery without anaesthesia was a cursing ordeal for the patients as well as doctors.

Mothers and children standing in queue to receive infant milk food were targeted in the SL shell attacks. Without seeing no one could visualize the sorrow of the child that lost the mother and the mother who lost the child.

SLA shell attacks, guided by spy craft were targeted on queues for gruel also. Despite casualties the queue would form again.

While even gruel was scarce to people, lands they cultivated were harvested by the SLA.

At one stage, the LTTE leadership ordered food meant for combatants to be shared with civilians. The fighters fought only with gruel food and to the last LTTE served gruel to people.

Around 1000 waterholes were dug and several hundreds of toilets were made for civilians at the initiative of the LTTE. Water often mixed with sand was collected in shell-halves and was filtered by cloth.

There were no epidemics.

Pregnant mothers and infants bearing shell fragments came to makeshift hospitals.

These hospitals functioned 24 hours and wailing was always heard around them.

Many dead bodies couldnít be buried in certain situations of SL attacks and hungry dogs dragged them.

Every time moving patents to ICRC vessel there will be targeted shelling from the SLA. A few hundreds taken for ICRC treatment died. How that happened was not known and whom to ask.

Even in emaciated conditions people donated blood for treatment and some of them later died of their own injuries.

More than a thousand people were killed on the day when the SLA entered into Maaththaílan and Pokkaínai (20th April).

On May 15th and 16th the SLA entered and rampaged the pocket of land crowded with nearly a hundred thousand people.

I had to pass through at least around 300 bodies when I came out. Some were alive but couldnít walk. I helped a few who could walk. Some held my feet when I tried to go away. What could I do?

There is a long list of people who were eliminated and disappeared after capture by the SLA. The army-controlled area was a place where murders took place in front of oneís eyes.

In Mullaiththeevu, a hundred thousand people made to stand in rows would all of a sudden be ordered to squat by the SL army. The soldiers would make sadistic laugh at seeing the melee of people falling on each other in the exercise.

Long poles were used to beat the people and to threaten them.

Old and young stood under hot sun for a long time, immensely suffering from thirst.

Mullaiththeevu to Vavuniyaa was scenery of disaster.

There were 20 to 25 people in a tent in the internment camp at Cheddikuílam. Food was sometimes thrown from a vehicle.

Everyday in the internment camp around 30 people died.

It was a place of epidemics.

Thousands suffered of Chicken Pox, hundreds had brain fever, many elders died and some committed suicide.

The bribe to SL army for a person to come out was several hundred thousands of rupees.

In the last days of the war over 18,000 killed, more than 5,000 lost limbs, more than 7,000 seriously injured and several thousands suffered minor injuries. Several thousands suffer mental illnesses. More than a hundred medical workers- doctors, nurses and volunteers perished.

Knowledge and exercise of precaution reduced casualty. No one died of any epidemic under LTTE control.

Several thousands of Sinhala youth of the SLA, from poor families, regrettably laid down their life in the war.

The sadistic lust of Mahinda Rajapaksa is very astonishing - inflicting pain on ordinary civilians in every possible way, and then projecting that as forms of his soothing operation to the outside world.

The world may forget, but Tamils will never forget the true face of the civilisation of 21st century, the world has shown to them, writes the medical worker in his notes.

 

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