Batticaloa, Disaster Management, Human Security, IDPs and Refugees, Peace and Conflict, Poverty

Situation in Vakarai

About 25,000 refugees in the Vakarai region of Batticaloa need assistance urgently in terms of food, medicines, shelter, water and sanitation. They have been facing shortages for over a month, and I received my information from refugees who had left from Vakarai about 4 days ago.

The government sector is also not functioning so there are no schools and medical facilities.

A convoy with essential items was turned back yesterday by the army from Mankerni base. The army gave the reason that LTTE artillery attacks on Kajuwatte camp made it unsafe. The LTTE spokesman Illanthirayan denies this and says there was no firing by the LTTE on Tuesday.
On Wedneday, another convoy of essential goods is preparing to go to Vakarai.
About 3,500 LTTE cadres are in Vakarai, according to the IDPs. The LTTE says they are providing humanitarian help for the camps, because the people are from LTTE controlled areas.

The people there are feeling isolated because they can’t communicate with relatives or anyone else. Three refugees in the Pentacostal mission in Valaichchenai said the LTTE was not allowing people to leave the area.The current rainy season is also leading to more illness such as Chikungunya and diarrohea.

I work as a journalist and I would like to request that more information or links to information are posted here from agencies such as ICRC.