Posts Tagged ‘Mullaitivu’

SRI LANKA: Civilian death toll rises as fighting continues

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

[IRIN]

As Sri Lankan government troops close in on the rebel Tamil Tigers, the UN has reported a rising number of civilian deaths in the northern battle zone. At least 52 people were killed in shelling in Suranthapuram village in the northeastern district of Mullaitivu when the area came under 16 hours of heavy shelling, including a cluster bomb attack, on 3 February, UN spokesman Gordon Weiss said, quoting UN staff stationed in the area. “We don’t know who is responsible or how many shells hit,” Weiss said, adding that patients in the only functioning hospital in the district had been evacuated on 4 February.

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Hospital shelled in Sri Lanka conflict

Sunday, February 1st, 2009

[CNN]

Artillery shells slammed into a hospital Sunday in the northern Sri Lankan district of Mullaitivu, where civilians — including a growing number of children — are being treated as government forces and Tamil rebels continue to clash. More than 200 civilians and at least 30 children have been injured in the last three days of fighting, a relief worker told CNN Sunday. “That is the absolute minimum (number of injured),” the aid worker, who did not want to be identified for fear of jeopardizing the work of relief organizations, said.

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UN urges safety of civilians as Sri Lanka presses for victory

Saturday, January 31st, 2009

[AFP]

Red Cross officials were negotiating Saturday to evacuate more wounded from the conflict zone in Sri Lanka’s embattled north as the island’s military kept up its push to crush Tamil separatist rebels. “We are negotiating with both parties (the government and the rebels) to the conflict to ensure safe passage for many more patients that need urgent medical attention,” ICRC spokeswoman Sarasi Wijeratne told AFP. She would not say how many patients “critically wounded” in the conflict and others suffering from heart ailments and other conditions might be brought out of Puthukkudiriruppu which lies behind LTTE front lines in Mullaittivu district.

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S Lanka army in ghost ‘Tiger’ town

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

[ BBC ]

Heavy monsoon rains were falling as we approached the outskirts of Mullaitivu in a Sri Lankan armoured personnel carrier. “We had to fight here for one week or so,” said Colonel Arun Aryasinghe, as he showed us a huge earthen defence line constructed by the Tamil Tigers. “It was a very hard battle.” Mullaitivu used to be one of the Tigers’ most important bases. Now the Sri Lankan flag flies overhead, and government troops are in complete control. But they have inherited a ghost town, full of broken buildings. Apart from men in uniform, a stray dog wandering through a burnt-out shop was one of the only signs of life.

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Civilians ‘killed’ in Sri Lanka

Sunday, January 18th, 2009

[BBC]

Medical staff in Sri Lanka say at least 18 civilians have been killed as the military continues its offensive on the northern bases of Tamil Tiger rebels. Hospital officials said the number killed in fighting around Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu could be much higher. The military said Mullaitivu - the last major rebel stronghold - was now surrounded, but it denied rebel claims that civilians came under attack. A military spokesman told the BBC that the allegation was propaganda.

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Fears grow for trapped civilians as army advances on Tamil Tigers

Sunday, January 18th, 2009

[Guardian]

International concern is intensifying over the fate of around 350,000 civilians trapped in a rapidly shrinking rebel-controlled pocket of land in Sri Lanka’s north east, as the military steps up its campaign to end the civil war by crushing the Tamil Tiger forces.

The Sri Lankan army this week announced that it had seized new swathes of territory from the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), forcing the dwindling guerrilla forces to retreat to their last remaining stronghold, the small coastal town of Mullaitivu.

Aid agencies believe that hundreds of thousands of people made homeless by the latest offensive have been pushed back, along with the guerrilla fighters, and are now crowded into a densely forested patch of land around 30km wide. Most of these civilians are thought to be sheltering with locals, or beneath shelters roughly thrown together from palm leaves, and food supplies are very restricted.

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Army pressures Tamil Tiger base

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

[BBC]

Heavy fighting is reported around the sole remaining Tamil Tiger stronghold of Mullaitivu in Sri Lanka as the army presses ahead with its offensive. The defence ministry said troops had captured one “administration base” with jets bombing jungle hideouts. Rebel sources have not commented on the claim, but say civilians have been wounded by artillery fire. The army is pressing ahead after capturing the rebel HQ of Kilinochchi and the strategic Elephant Pass.

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Sri Lanka navy says blows up Tamil Tiger weapons ship

Saturday, December 20th, 2008

[Reuters]

Sri Lankan navy boats destroyed a Tamil Tiger weapons-smuggling ship on Saturday and four other small rebel boats in an attack that killed at least 20 fighters, the navy spokesman said. The ship, approximately 40 metres long (130 feet), was spotted in international waters steaming toward the only sizeable port the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) still control on the Indian Ocean island nation, Mullaitivu on the northeastern coast. “Navy offshore patrol craft observed a medium-sized LTTE vessel about 70 miles (112 km) northeast of Mullaitivu and navy fast attack boats attacked it,” navy spokesman Mahesh Karunaratne said. “The vessel was destroyed. Four LTTE attack crafts that came in support were also destroyed.”

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Behind the muzzled: voices from a troubed Sri Lanka

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

[ Telegraph ]

I want to return to Sri Lanka today where, while the world focuses on the fallout from Mumbai, SL government forces are reportedly closing in on the key rebel strongholds of Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu. It now seems that, in the name of ‘national interest’ and ‘war spirit’ Sri Lanka’s government has effectively crushed all opposition, even from those who would ordinarily be considered patriots of the Sinhala cause.No dissent or counter-argument to the war strategy is tolerated by President Mahinda Rajpakse, his brother Gotabhaya (the defence secretary) and chief of the army staff Gen Sarath Fonseka.

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Flash Floods in Northern parts of Sri Lanka

Friday, November 28th, 2008

[ IASC ]

Due to heavy rains over the past few days parts of the Northern districts of Jaffna, Mannar, Trincomalee, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu have been affected by floods. A coordination meeting will take place on Friday 28 November with the GA Jaffna to assess the current situation and decide on next steps. 5,136 families (23,104 individuals) are affected in the Mannar district. The Government Agent and agencies in the district continue to provide support to affected families in Trincomalee. The AGA divisions of Puththukudiyirippu (PTK), Marimepattu and Oddusudan are affected with the highest number of displaced in Mullaitivu.

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