Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: Navy evacuates 514 civilians, patients from LTTE hostage

The twenty first batch of 514 patients and civilians was evacuated on board "MV Green Ocean" on the 14th April 2009.

The evacuation of patients and civilians trapped in LTTE Clutches in the un-cleared areas in Mullaithivu is being carried out under the ICRC flag. Sri Lanka Navy is providing safe passage for evacuees on humanitarian grounds.

The patients among the evacuees, upon disembarkation at Pulmuadai, were provided with emergency medical treatment by Naval doctors and were rushed to the General Hospital in Padaviya by the Naval personnel for further treatment. Elaborate arrangements have been made to treat the sick and the wounded evacuees once they reach cleared areas. Hospitals have been equipped with adequate stocks of essential drugs and specialist medical personnel are assigned to treat the sick and the wounded as they are transferred to hospitals.

The twenty first batch consisted of 106 adult males, 174 adult females and 234 children in total. Among them were 63 male and 63 female patients needing medical treatment. The evacuees had been languishing in pain and fear due to the LTTE's adamant stance to hold all civilians captive in the un-cleared areas as human shields despite the repeated appeals by the International Community to free all civilians to arrive in safe areas immediately.

In the meantime, Sri Lanka Navy rescued 59 civilians who had been fleeing from the LTTE clutches in Mulaithivu on the same day on two occasions. The first group consisted of 08 males, 15 females and 08 children while the second group consisted of 08 males, 14 females and 06 children. All had been found on board white flag hoisted fiber glass dinghies, while attempting to flee from the LTTE clutches in the No Fire Zone in Mulaithivu. Upon rescuing, the rescued civilians were safely brought ashore and provided with much needed food, refreshments and medical assistance.

The Navy, as part of its humanitarian operations, has put in place a number of comprehensive evacuation measures to facilitate the evacuation process. Naval personnel and vessels along with stand-by rescue and medical teams are on special deployment in the North-eastern seas for assisting Tamil civilians fleeing from LTTE clutches.

Courtesy: Defence web site