UN abetted genocide aiming to seal liberation: NGO official in safe zone

[TamilNet, Sunday, 26 April 2009, 13:39 GMT]
"UN is trying to close the chapter with the death of hundreds of thousands of our people. UN is encouraging the genocidal onslaught for the sake of safeguarding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lankan state. It has let the people and their aspirations to die,” writes Lawrance Christy, the planning director of Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) which serves the people inside the so-called safety zone. "UN has sadly failed in its mandate to uphold the aspirations of a people who are oppressed grossly and consistently for the last 60 years. The intermittent physical attacks on Tamils now has culminated in extensive massacre by military onslaught,” he writes giving a firsthand, eyewitness account of the massacre and human tragedy in the safety zone since Monday.

Full text of Mr. Christy's account follows:

Lawrance Christy
Lawrance Christy at the makeshift office of TRO inside safety zone, photographed a month ago.
I am writing this crying. A lump of grief has chocked my throat. This is because of the feeling that we are abandoned by the International Community. 60 years of struggle has been nullified by UN especially by Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and Under Secretary General John Holmes. Without recognizing the struggle for freedom from oppression and without taking initiatives which would lead to permanent solution to the ethnic problem UN is trying to close the chapter with the death of hundreds of thousands of our people. UN is encouraging the genocidal onslaught for the sake of safeguarding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lankan state. It has let the people and their aspirations to die. UN has sadly failed in its mandate to uphold the aspirations of a people who are oppressed grossly and consistently for the last 60 years. The intermittent physical attacks on Tamils now has culminated in extensive massacre by military onslaught.

On 20th morning the Sri Lankan army moved into Safety Zone of Mathalan and Ampalavan Pokkanai using civilians who have gone into the army held territory as a human shield. In the process military has started intense artillery shelling on the settlements. Shells started falling everywhere. They fell on the shelters and bunkers as well. Shelling continued for several hours. We could hear shelling in each second. While shelling going on military personnel moved into the safety zones firing mortars, PK LMGs and Rocket propelled grenades. By shelling shelters were thrown into the air with the inmates inside the shelters. The advancing army fired extensively using AK 47 rifles, PK LMGs and RPGs. At one stage people could not stay inside the shelters and bunkers. They ran here and there. They were fired at. When the massacre was over the death and wounded were everywhere. Army withdrew with the people who were found on their way back.

Death and wounded were evacuated by TRO. They were brought to the hospital at Mullivaikal. Hundreds of dead bodies were lined up on the ground nearby. TRO’s team for removal of dead bodies was seen busy with loading the corpses to be taken to the burial ground. My friend’s wife was brought to the hospital. She has died as the shell fell on the church has removed the scalp of her head from the skull. In the same attack Rt. Rev. Vasanthaseelan was wounded and lost his leg. He was the head of Hudec – Caritas – a leading Non Governmental Organization working for the welfare of the people in the NorthEast of Sri Lanka. The wounded people were brought by tractors, HIACE vans and Pajero 4 wheelers. There was no space inside and outside the hospital. A school has been converted into a makeshift hospital. We could not walk in the locality of the hospital as the thousands of wounded were lying down. They were under the scorching sun and on the heating sandy soil. We had to bring some tarpaulin sheets to make a cover over the injured. Many were calling for medical attention. Only few doctors were there to attend thousands of wounded people. Serious cases who were wounded on chest, stomach and head were taken to inside of the hospital. They were diagnosed immediately, prioritized. Many were taken to surgical room for treatment. Some cases with serious internal damages were let to die as there was no hope for recovery with the available expertise, medicines and equipments. They were dying fast. The death persons have to be identified among the injured and removed.

A mother was howling for her 1 ½ year boy Kajeevan to be brought back to her as they were separated for treatment. She was lamenting that he had to be fed with mother’s milk. We looked for the boy among the injured children and brought him to her mother.

The scene cannot be described in words when mother and small child got united. He got into mother’s bosom promptly and got into his business gleefully. These temporary departs can be endured to some extent though they are highly emotive. Permanent departures – deaths can not be put up with easily. The lamentation filled the air. A mother was crying for her dead baby. A woman was hysterically wailing beating her chest for her husband. She was falling over her husband’s body, hugging and lamenting under the heating sun. She was insisting that he should not be taken for burial. We kept the body until evening. She let her husband’s body to leave unwillingly finally. A boy came running weeping and asking the doctor to come and have a look on his father as he was emitting froth. He was serious about it. He was telling the doctor that he has lost his mother by shell attack – his father was his only hope. Doctor went immediately with the boy and checked his father and asked the TRO volunteers to take him to the surgical room at once.

Injured and death were pouring into the hospital without stop. Doctors and volunteers were tired. They have been working relentlessly. They were waiting for the ship to come. It came at about 1 O’ clock in the afternoon We were relieved by the arrival of the ship hoping that many injured would be taken to ship that would ease the work of those who were involved in it. To the astonishment of all a volley of cannon fire cracked the already eerie atmosphere. Sri Lankan military has directed canon fire towards the ship. The ship narrowly escaped and to avoid further attacks it went to a distance and anchored at deep sea. The injured could not be taken to the ship. For over an hour no loading activity was taking place. ICRC people should have informed this mishap to Colombo and got clearance that no untoward incident would take place. Later the ship came close to the shore. The injured persons were hurriedly taken by vehicles to the ship. It was getting dark. Over 450 injured could have been taken to ship that day. Unfortunately only 350 wounded people were loaded to the ship by boats which were carrying them from the beach to the ship.


Chronology:

 

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