Sri Lanka Air Force Bombs Refugee Settlement

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TAMILNET reports that two civilians were killed on the spot last Sunday morning when the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) bombed a civilian settlement of Internally Displaced Persons in Puthukkudiyiruppu in Mullaiththteevu district.

Eleven civilians, including a pregnant mother, were wounded in the air attack, Tamil eelam Police said.

Puthukkudiyiruppu Central College, located 100 metres away from the IDP displaced settlement, zonal office of education, and temples in the vicinity have sustained damage in the SLAF attack.

Tension prevails in the town as shrapnel from the air-blasts of the bombs were spread around the area.

Three Kfir bomber jets targeted Neasankudiyiruppu IDP displaced settlement in six rounds of attacks at 9.15 am. The families were displaced in 1995 from Jaffna.

Four huts of the IDP families were fully destroyed.

20-year-old V Nakathampirasa from Punnai Neeraavi in Visuvamadu and 47-year-old Iyathurai Sundaralingam, 47, father of three were killed on the spot.

Kandasamy temple, and bus station are located 200 metres from the attack site. Many civilians were in the market and the bus-station.

The laboratory of Puthukkudiyiruppu Central College and the temple sustained damage in the attack.

The wounded were: R Thangarasa, 42, from Neasankudiyiruppu, P Asokan, 41, father of five, from Vea’naavil, I Pathmanathan, 71, father of nine, from Vea’naavil, S Jeyamohini, 31, a pregnant and mother of one, from Neasankudiyiruppu, Kalaiththevan, 36, from ward no. 1 in Puthukkudiyiruppu, Ladchumanan, 58, from Katsilaimadu, S Thines, 18, from ward no. 2 in Puthukkudiyiruppu, Chandran, 51, from ward no 10, K Parpuhalan, 21, from ward no. 5, V Vinothan, 25, from Ira’naippaalai, Visuvamadu and Vinushan from Visuvamadu.

The wounded were rushed to Puthukkudiyiruppu hospital which is also located near the attack site.

Meanwhile, ‘Ellalan Force’, a shady entity from which terror threats come from time to time, has warned last Monday that the Sri Lankan forces should cease LRRP (Deep Penetration Unit) Claymore attacks and aerial bombardments against civilians to avoid ‘revenge’ attacks in the South.

Meanwhile, responding to the recent press communiqué released by the Presidential secretariat, Mano Ganeshan MP, the leader of the Western Province Peoples Front (WPPF) and Convenor of Civil Monitoring Commission on Extra judicial killings and Disappearances stated, in a press release issued Friday said: ‘It is good to note that the President is concerned of this situation but we did not create this situation.

‘In fact this was created due to the abductions created with the blessings of this Government.

‘If the press communiqué released by Presidential Secretariat in response to my recent statements advising Tamils from North and East not to visit Colombo can put an end to the white van abductions, I will welcome this report,’ Mr Ganeshan said.

He added: ‘It is my intention that the innocent Tamils coming to Colombo from North and East must not face dangerous situations such as abductions and disappearances.

‘The Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eellam (LTTE) have taken their war to the people in Colombo and Wanni.

‘The killings and abductions taking place in Colombo are manifestations of this conflict.

‘As a parliamentarian and a human rights activist I have greater rights and responsibility for me to provide instructions for our people than the armed forces in the country.

‘If the press communiqué released by Presidential Secretariat in response to my recent statements advising Tamils from North and East not to visit Colombo can put an end to the white van abductions, I will welcome this report.

‘Our people are disappearing unnecessarily. Parents losing their children and, wives losing their husbands are wailing and only we understand their tears.

‘Their desperation pains our hearts and it is my responsibility to come to the aid of these abandoned people. I don’t need any one’s permission or approval to execute this responsibility.

‘Since January 2006 a large number of Tamils and a smaller number of Muslims in Colombo district were made to disappear and ransom extorted from them

‘Was the President unaware of this pathetic situation until I advised the Tamils from North and East not to visit Colombo?

‘Are these people not aware of the fact that our brothers arriving from North and East are abducted from Fort Railway station and Pettah bus terminal?

‘Hundreds of Tamils are being abducted in Colombo and suburbs by armed groups operating from white vans. The list of those abducted is available with the People’s Monitoring committee and I have personally handed over a copy of the list to Prime Minister Wickremanayake in the parliament.

‘If a copy of the list is required for Presidential Secretariat, I am prepared to send one and I would like to request them to inform us of the fate of the people on this list.

‘It is this Government that forcibly put the Tamils from North and East in buses and sent them back to North and East. It also imposed severe restrictions on Tamils from East wishing to visit Colombo.

‘However these have now been stopped due to the intervention of the supreme courts. The immature and illegal activities of GOSL and LTTE are beyond our control but when the innocent Tamil civilians are affected by such acts it becomes our responsibility to assist them.

‘Therefore, I have complete rights and responsibility to comment about this.

‘It is not my problem that the complaints made by our people to the Monitoring Committee do not reach the investigation division of the Ministry of Human Rights. It only indicates the extent to which the people have faith in the Ministry of Human Rights of this government

‘On the other hand this shows that our people have faith in the Monitoring Committee.

‘To be dressed as civilian and take away Tamils in white vans are acts of forcible abduction.

‘This is happening in Colombo right now. After we exposed this information some Tamil cabinet ministers of this government have publicly accepted the involvement of police.

‘Is the Presidential secretariat unaware of this? We call upon this government to arrest the suspects through the proper channels.

‘After the Presidential secretariat forwarded its response to me and released it to the media, two Tamils were abducted in white vans – one along Wattala Balagalla street on Monday night and another Tuesday morning St Johns Road, Mattakuliya.

‘It is good to note that the President is concerned of this situation but we did not create this situation. In fact this was created with the blessings of this Government.

‘The vast majority of Tamils in Colombo have nothing to do with the bomb blasts occurring in Colombo as well as in the North and East.

‘Parliamentarian Wimal Weerawansa, a supporter of this government has publicly stated that if bomb blasts continue in Colombo, Sinhalese will lose patience.

‘This is a plan to incite the public and such statements are dangerous. He continues to make similar statements against Tamils and India.

‘We have a history of such type of statements being used in the past to direct attacks against Tamils, especially those of Indian origin.

‘We can never permit history repeating itself. Therefore the Presidential secretariat that criticises me must first ban such statements.’