IDPs and Refugees, Peace and Conflict, Vavuniya

A short note from the Vanni

By Witness

I traveled to the Vanni on 17th September, with the hope of getting a lorry load of foodstuff from Vavuniya to Vanni, but it was impossible, as the Killinochchhi Government Agent’s convoy had been stopped at that time.

From Omanthai exit – entry point to Killinochchi, the situation was very different than when I had traveled in the previous months. There were no people on the road up to the Killinochchi hospital.

As I approached Murikandy I observed that everything was burnt and smashed. While I was passing this place last week, it was full of people and the place looked very busy, but now it has become a no man’s land. The people have vacated from there due to bombing and shelling and the shops were also destroyed. There was heavy traffic in the Killinochchi town, as people were crossing the A9 to Vattakachi and Tharampuram areas. Hospitals are full of injured people, including in the outer areas such as the veranda.

The Catholic priests who usually reside St. Theresa church and Caritas – Vanni in Killinochchi were about to leave from there with all their belongings. At night, the Killinochchhi town was in darkness as there was no electricity. All the shops were closed and some were packing available stocks to be taken away from Killinochchi.

The people now staying at Vattakachi and Tharmapuram areas are requesting to announce these areas as “safe zones” for the civilians. Food and shelter are desperately needed, as people are suffering without anything to eat and nowhere to rest. Aerial bombing, which is even amongst civilians, has created a situation of panic amongst the people.