Sri Lanka

TRO condemns Sri Lanka army DPU Claymore mine attack on civilians

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Tamils Rehabilitation Organization(TRO) condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the gruesome, terrorist attack by a Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Deep Penetration Unit (DPU) on a civilian bus travelling to Paalampiddifrom Madhuat 2:25 on 29 November 2008. The attack killed 20 people, 11 of whom school children, and injured 14, eight of whom were children.

As the victims are buried today, TRO wishes to convey our condolences to the victimsand their families. This attack has plunged the population of the entire region into mourning and is a grave breach of the most fundamental tenets of humanity. Such targeted attacks on civilians are forbidden under international humanitarian law and are never acceptable. The Government of Sri Lanka must stop any direct or indiscriminate attacks on civilians.

It is unfortunate that the Co-Chairs (United States, Japan, Norway, EuropeanUnion), international human rights and humanitarian organization and Sri Lankan Civil Society have chosen to remain silent and not vociferously condemn this attack. The international community seems to have given the Government of Sri Lanka carte blanche to prosecute its war against the Tamil people.

This is the 7th Claymore mine attack by the SLA DPU'son civilians in the LTTE controlled areas. These attacks have in total killed 40 persons and injured 22. Amongst the dead there have been 18 school children, one priest, 1 doctor, 2 nurses and a TRO humanitarian worker. The attacks, which are described below, have targeted ambulances (twice), humanitarian vehicles (twice), a mobile medical health service (twice) and a civilian bus.

SLADPU Attacks:

27 November 2007: Seven school girls, three male volunteers and the driver of the van who were providing rural first aid service, were killed in an Claymore mine attack carried out by an SLA DPU unit while travelling on the Kokkaavil- ThunukkaiRoad

25 November 2007:

An ambulance from the Muzhangkaavilhospital was the target of a SLA DPU Claymore attack at Mudkompan. The driver of the ambulance, Thavaseelan(29), was seriously wounded in the attack. The ambulance was engaged in providing medical service to displaced civilians.

26 September 2007:

Rev. Fr. NicholaspillaiPackiyaranjith, 40, the Mannar district coordinator of Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) was killed by a SLA DPU Claymore attack the Mankulam- Vellankulamroad. The Reverend was engaged in humanitarian relief work and was transporting baby milk and other essential humanitarian supplies for displaced children.

09 August 2006:

The SLA DPU attacked yet another ambulance killing a medical doctor, his wife, two nurses and the driver. The ambulance, from Nedunkernihospital, was hit by three Claymore mines in a row.

08 June 2006:

Four health officials, including a nurse and the driver of the vehicle, from the Tamil Eelam Health Service Mobile Medical Service, were wounded at Akkarayanwhen an SLA DPU team exploded a Claymore mine.

24 March 2006:

TRO humanitarian worker MuthurajaAruleswaran,was killed and 3 TRO directors, including the Assistant Executive Director of the TRO, VadivelRavichandran, 38, were wounded in the attack.

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Arjunan Ethirveerasingam
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