Feature Article

Paduvankarai faces misery

[TamilNet, Saturday, 19 August 2006, 12:20 GMT]
Tamil people living in LTTE controlled Paduvankarai area in Batticaloa District face starvation and danger of health hazards due to the closure of all the entry points to the LTTE controlled area from Military controlled Eluvankarai area by the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) from 12 August, local residents said. "This act of collective punishment by the SLA has affected mostly the poorest civilians in the LTTE-controlled areas in Batticaloa," civil society sources in Batticaloa said.

The gateways to the LTTE controlled area are Ampilanthurai and Manmunai Ferries, Boat services in Kinnayady and Santhively, bridges at Paddiruppu, Vavunathivu, Chenkalady and Kiran and access roads via Kavaththaimunai and Vaharai.

According to the 2004 annual report released by District Secretariat in Batticaloa, 419198 people live in 14 Divisional Secretariat (DS) divisions. Out of the 14 Divisions, 5 divisions, Porathivu Pattu (Villanelle), Manmunai Southwest (Paddippalai), Manmunai West (Vavunathivu), Koala Pattu south (Pulipainthakal), and Koralai Pattu North (Vaharai) are under total LTTE control, and one Division, Eravur Pattu (Chenkalady) is under partial control of the LTTE.

The total population of this area is 140.000, mostly Tamils, living in 70 per cent of land in the entire District. Presently the number increased with the influx of 40,000 refugees from Muttur East of Trincomalee District.

31 percent of this population is farmers, 18 percent fishermen, 36 percent laborers, 5 percent government servants, and 10 percent in other occupations.

The farmers, and businesses from many other sectors, usually buy their row materials and sell their products in military controlled areas. The gateway closures have disabled the business and trading activity for many residents with the concomitant loss of their daily income.

The day laborers travel to the Military controlled areas daily to find jobs. During post-Tsunami months construction sector had high demand for day labourers and workers enjoyed a healthy economic period. Day labourers have been made jobless after the gateway closures.

The women head of families­ mainly depend on income from small industries including pounding rice, and packing jobs in food preservation industries, have completely lost their income.

Since the 80 percent of the government servants including teachers, health workers and civil servants who come to the LTTE controlled area for work are unable to attend to their work, further worsening the predicament of the people in the LTTE controlled areas.

Poorly equipped Rural Hospitals in Mahiladiththivu, Thandiyadi and Vaharai, and Indigenous Hospital in Porathivu are also crippled as the medical staff from Military controlled area are not allowed to travel and only attend to the very basic medical needs of the local residents.

Patients who need urgent medical attention for snakebites, severe injuries and deliveries, and generally have to go to the Teaching Hospital, Batticaloa or District Hospitals in Kaluwanchikkudy, Chenkalady and Valaichchenai, are denied from obtaining the required medical treatment thereby increasing fatalities.

More than 8 Children's homes which take care of children lost who had their parents either in war or in Tsunami, are located in LTTE controlled area and the children are undergoing immense hardships without lack of basic provisions and health facilities.

P.Ariyaneththiran, Tamil National Alliance Member of Parliament for Batticaloa District said the civil administration of this area will cease to function if the basic needs of the local civilians.


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