Sri Lanka Army

Defenders of the Nation

Published on - 1/4/2005


Several instances where LTTE cadres forcibly tried to take away lorries laden with essential relief items, destined for Tsunami victims in un-cleared areas in Trincomalee and Wanni districts have been brought to the notice of the Security Forces by disappointed relief workers of State sector and Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) including a Media agency.

Security Forces during morning hours on Wednesday (29) were compelled to defuse tension and allow smooth passage of 19 such lorries brought to Trincomalee under 'Sirasa Sahana Yathra' programme when LTTE tried to divert them on their own and grabbed those relief materials against the wishes of relief organizers.

Divisional Secretary for Trincomalee after receipt of those relief supplies from the said organization earmarked them for distribution but LTTE men confronted them on the way and forcibly took eight of those lorries away. This forced act of the LTTE however made organizers to move those lorries reluctantly into other areas after a Police complaint was lodged.

Another such humanitarian gesture, organized by Mahindapura and Kallar villagers which was meant to help the displaced in Tamil dominated Echchalampattu and Poonagar villages, was abruptly abandoned by them when LTTE forced them to hand over those relief items to them for distribution, instead.

In another instance, a group of grief-stricken civilians with a few lorry loads of relief items bound for Tamil villages in Wanni were held up by LTTE after instructing them to leave them with LTTE custody for distribution, thus not allowing those relief workers to proceed further in.

Likewise hordes of un-cleared Vakarai-based Tamil villagers who were badly affected by tidal waves have repeatedly tried to move into the refugee centres in cleared areas in Batticaloa but LTTE men have prevented them from doing so. In the same area, LTTE has not allowed NGOs and State agencies to carry out much-needed humanitarian and medical assistance, claiming that it was the LTTE's prerogative to decide and distribute relief items in un-cleared areas.

The LTTE orchestrated wilful obstruction of relief supplies to un-cleared areas in the north and east where over 25,000 Tamil refugees are stranded once again reinforces the public conviction that LTTE still continues to maintain uncompromising and obdurate attitudes even at the expense of the displaced at a time when the whole country mourns the loss of human lives and property.