Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: Eastern province situation report Jun 2005

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General Situation
There was a fully fledged harthal in the Batticaloa in protest of the incident in Trincomalee. There was no public or vehicle movement in Batticaloa town and activities of the government institutes, banks, schools, shops, and NGOs and other enterprises had been paralysed throughout the district.

The TRO office situated at Koddamunai came under grenade attack causing severe damage to vehicles and property. One person was seriously injured.

A Buddha statue which was in the premises of the Kalmunai Sinhala MV had been damaged and removed from the place by unknown persons. The Kalmunai Police had replaced it with a smaller statue and constructed a protection fence around it for security.

The time keeper of the private bus depot and his assistant at Kalmunai were shot to death by two unknown gunmen who entered the time keeper's room. The Police are conducting investigations.

A 14 year old girl was sexually assaulted by 8 youths at Arayampathy. The Kattankudy Police have arrested one of the gang members. Further investigations are being conducted.

One person was killed in a hand grenade attack in Eravuer. The grenade was lobbed due to a family dispute.

The LTTE political office was attacked on the 10th of June. No injuries or loss to property were reported.

The GA of the Ampara District stated that even after 6 months since the Tsunami struck no permanent houses have been provided to victims.

With the assistance of CHA, SWOAD is issuing 100 bicycles and 40 sewing machines to the affected DS Divisions of Pottuvil, Thirkovil, Karaitivu, and Kalmunai.

The first stage of agricultural assistance stands at Rs. 30,000 per beneficiary. The second stage deals with 300 bicycles.

ILO has provided vocational training for youths affected by the war.

Normal day-to-day activity has been restored following the continuous harthal in the Trincomalee District. More than 2,000 security forces are deployed in the streets to prevent further violence.

A harthal was organised by the Tamil Forum to protest against the government's failure to withdraw troops from the Trincomalee town. The harthals were held in Jaffna, Mannar, Vavuniya, Trincomalee, and Batticaloa.

Some foreign agencies who came to assist people affected by the Tsunami, are converting people into other religions by providing them assistance. These agencies have asked people, especially children, to attend prayer meetings and religious activities.

A serious ongoing problem in Trincomalee is the Buddha statue close to the clock tower. The security forces covered the statue with sentry points and a fence.

The people who are affected by the Tsunami are moving from welfare camps into their relative's places and other locations due to bad weather conditions and they are facing difficulties living in the tents.

A policeman from Kantale was shot by unknown gunmen in Serunuwara.

The former mayor of the Urban Council was shot at his home by unknown gunmen. The assailants had come on a motorbike. The victim succumbed to his severe injuries after he was transferred to a hospital in Colombo.

In Matara, IOM identified three cases of chickenpox at the IOM constructed Solis camp. Referrals were made for treatment and measures were taken to control the disease.

Numerous cases of skin rashes have been experienced in IDP camps in Batticaloa. Many women with these conditions have been reluctant to see male doctor for treatment.

Following an alert by the local authorities of cases of diarrhoea in Thirukovil, IOM helped investigate the reported cases and confirmed the presence of 'Hepatitis A'. With an effort to prevent it from spreading IOM and other international agencies conducted a health education campaign addressing personal and environmental hygiene.