Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Mannar, Vavuniya, Trincomalee and Batticaloa districts Situation Report # 151

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30 October - 06 November 2008

IDP situation as reported this week by GAs

Displacement after April 2006

Location
Number of Families
Number of Individuals
Jaffna
6,013
20,219
Kilinochchi
TBC
TBC
Mullaitivu
TBC
TBC
Vavuniya
5,360
18,972
Mannar
4,414
14,829
Trincomalee
1,389
4,647
Batticaloa
2,800
10,658
Ampara
1,148
4,223

JAFFNA DISTRICT

Situation update

-The security situation remained tense across Jaffna District during the reporting period and regular artillery shelling continued. The areas close to the FDLs, mainly around Muhumalai and Nagarkovil, were particularly volatile, with armed clashes and military confrontations reported almost daily. On 30 October, heavy fighting was reported at the FDLs close to Eluthumadduwal, followed by artillery shelling by the LTTE from Poonaryn towards SLA positions. Fighting and shelling in this area was again reported on 3 November.

- During the early hours of 2 November, a flotilla of naval craft was attacked off the coast of Nagarkovil by LTTE Sea Tigers and a battle ensued.

- Restrictions on telecommunication remains unchanged with mobile phones functioning intermittently and only selected CDMA phones being operational. The curfew remains in place from 2100 - 0430 hours daily.

Displacement/Returns

· There are initial reports of a small number of IDPs arriving from the Vanni. Agencies are following up and more information is expected to be available soon.

KILINOCHCHI & MULLAITHIVU DISTRICTS

Situation update

- General security situation of Vanni remains tense. It has been reported that Kilinochchi town was shelled and the military operation in Poonakary division continues.

Displacement/Returns

- According to GA-Kilinochchi, the total number of IDPs in the district continues to increase following ongoing confrontations in Poonakary division as well as aerial bombardments recently reported in Paranthan. It is also reported that there has been displacement of people from Semmankunru and Kiranchchi towards the Tharmapuram and Visuvamadu areas.

Sector Developments/Gaps

- On 31 October, the RDHS Kilinochchi reported that a portion of the fourth quarter drugs were transported to Kilinochchi during the reporting period. The RDHS also reported 16 malaria patients have now been identified and treated in Kilinochchi during the month of October while 194 snake bites cases were admitted in the Tharmapuram hospital facility, where two died after failing to respond to treatment. In the meantime, road accidents have increased significantly in areas of dense IDP concentration. In October, 540 accidents were reported including 2 deaths in Tharmapuram.

- The Psycho-Social Promotion Forum, a newly inaugurated structure comprising representatives from health, education, District Secretariats and religious dignitaries, organized an 18 day training programme on psycho-social issues for 40 staff members of those institutions. The training began on 1 November in Mullaitivu and is being conducted by local NGO Annai Illam. Newly trained staff will be deployed amongst the IDP sites in order to assist those psychologically affected by the conflict.

- On 03 November, the UN dispatched a food convoy into the Vanni region. The 29 truck WFP convoy carried 426 MT of food to feed 121,714 IDPs for 7 days.

- On 06 November, RDHS-Mullaitivu reported that he expects two lorry loads of medicines from the third quarter allocation to be transported from Vavuniya in the coming days while the approval for the fourth quarter drugs is still pending. Two malaria cases were identified in the district last week. Health volunteers and RDHS staff are implementing an Anti-Malaria campaign in the district.

- Shelter and Wash continues to be a priority for IDPs in the Vanni. Thousands of IDPs are without adequate shelter and open defecation is widespread due to the lack of toilet facilities. The RDHS of Kilinochchi has expressed concern at the likelihood of outbreaks of water borne disease unless conditions are improved particularly now with the resumption of seasonal monsoon rains.