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No chance for Prabha to escape by sea

Ruling out speculations that LTTE leader Prabhakaran along with his other leaders escaped by sea or that only way for them to escape is by sea, Captain D. N. S. C. Kalubowila, Commanding Officer of the 4th FAC Squadron who was accompanying a group of journalists on board a Dvora from Trincomalee to Chundikulam said there is no chance for Prabhakaran to escape by sea.
According o him there are four strong defence lines in the sea setup by the Navy which are fully equipped with modern technology that where they can distinguish civilians from an LTTE cadre.

“The Special Boat Squadron, Rapid Action Boat Squadron and Fast Attacking Crafts (Dvora) are on surveillance round the clock in sight of the land while the fourth defence line consisting of big Naval ships are on alert guarding the Sri Lankan maritime border.” he said.
He also said that there are four squadrons of Dvoras, two each belonging to the Northern and Eastern Naval commands on duty according to a roster during the day and the night and that they double the number of attacking crafts during the night.

Meanwhile, Navy spokesman Captain D. K. P. Dassanayake, who is now engaged in the northern theatre to oversee small boat operations, said that the navy had the capability to detect and destroy any hostile boat movement launched from the no fire zone.

“Even though the strength of the sea tiger wing is being suppressed we could not say that it is hundred per cent destroyed. They are concentrating their fullest strength on the six kilometres they’ve been restricted to by now. Knowing this we also hundred per cent on surveillance to thwart any attempt by them to escape or attack us,” he said.
He also noted that they do not wait till the enemy comes to them but will attack and destroy sea tiger boats as soon as they come out of the NFZ.

“We have equipped all our attack crafts with electronic optical devices and setup two centres with latest technology including radar transmissions in Chalai and Chilawetti. With the assistance of these, you can now recognise any object in the sea or that comes to the coast no matter whether it’s a dog even in the night. These same pictures that appear in the crafts could be visualised in the Navy Head Quarters in Colombo, by the Eastern area Commander based in Trincomalee and the Northern area Commander Based in KKS,” Captain Dassanayake added.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

No food for the civilians used as a human shield by the LTTE

LTTE takes foods stocks sent by the Govt. into their custody

Blood has more value than anything else in the NFZ

Navy tightens its surveillance not to give a chance for Prabha

 

“There was an old man with his two year old grandchild where we were staying as prisoners. He couldn’t bear to see his little kid crying and he went and asked those of the ‘organisation’ to give him two spoons of milk powder. They had asked that old man to give a blood pint so that they’ll give what he wants. He returned empty handed cursing the LTTE because the man himself doesn’t look as if he has blood in his veins.”

As he was speaking the volunteers of the ICRC who are from the area and those who were engaged in unloading people from the Green Ocean ship and bring them to the receiving centre were seeing busily engaged in their activities.

When he attempted to speak to the ICRC volunteers there they refused saying that they are not supposed to speak to anyone about the civilians

He was about three years old but could not be more than that. Several female volunteers of the ICRC along with female Navy officers were seen trying to take him to a hut where they let the civilians who come to the Pulmoddai IDP receiving centre onboard the ICRC chartered Green Ocean ship. Yet, he was not willing to make a move and kept on crying while his eyes remained focussed on other civilians who came in boats to the coast. For an unknown reason the writer’s eyes too were glued on him among other busy activities taking place at the receiving centre. Finally, a lean man with an unruly hair and a beard appeared near him and the boys quickly grabbed the man’s hand and I did not miss him saying ‘Appa’ with a slight smile.

The father and the son went to the hut where they were given something to eat and drink and a moment to rest while the Indian doctors along with the Navy medical officers attend to the sick and injured civilians who came fleeing from the LTTE clutch. Again a female Navy officer came to him, this time with a plate of chocolate biscuits. His eyes opened wide and he glanced at the plate once and at the person who serves them once and took one. He separated the two pieces of the biscuit in the same way I have seen most kids do and I thought ‘he’s just another normal kid and is going to lick the chocolate cream in between’. But it was my turn to drop the jaw as he extended the creamy piece of the biscuit to his father instead.

“We did not get anything to eat for days while we waited till we got a chance to escape. Even if we stayed there we cannot afford any food as they are very expensive. He knows that I am as hungry as him and thinks that this will be the only food we get. He simply clings onto me all the time as he is scared that he will lose me-‘the only property’ he has. He was put onto a separate boat from the ship and was crying non-stop until he saw me,” his father went on explaining as if he read my mind.

It is not only him but all those civilians who fled had a similar story to tell, but most of them were reluctant to speak to journalists. When asked, Navy officers on duty at the receiving centre said: “They were being brain washed throughout their life projecting Sinhalese people as their sworn enemy and the members of the security forces as devils. You have to understand that they came here after a battle between life and death, because if the LTTE found them while escaping there will be no chance for them. After two or three days they realised that we are different to what had been projected and then they start telling you all the difficulties they faced. They are ultra careful when speaking if you are in civil as they still scared they will be accused of being traitorous to the organisation.”

M. Sivaganesh, 28 year old father who looked much older than his actual age arrived at the Pulmoddai IDP receiving centre last Monday along with other nine members of his family in a boat.
“I worked as a driver in an INGO in Kilinochchi after getting married. I attempted to escape three times in one month but failed. I couldn’t wait any longer seeing my kids and the family starving. After all why should we wait there protecting them whom I saw killing our own people. Therefore, I was waiting till the right time arrives. On Sunday night I could get one of those boats used by fishermen and I got all my family into it. Even though I have never been to sea in a boat I somehow managed to manoeuvre the boat and travel a few miles until the Navy personnel came and rescued us,” he said.

Puzzled

Puzzled as to why all these people who come to the government areas claim they have no food when the government kept on sending food stocks both funded by the World Food Programme and other friendly nations including India, The Nation asked them what happened to all those food and other essential items.
“When they send such stuff those were given to relevant authorities to be distributed by the GA. But the LTTE threatened them and took the stocks into their custody. Then they rationed them and sell them at unbelievable prices. For instance, if I want to give my kid a packet of biscuits (12 biscuits) I have to spend Rs 1500. A coconut is Rs. 2500. People give whatever they have and take food,” he added.

As if she remembered something Sivaganesh’s wife interrupted him and said: “Akka (Sister) they are not only asking for valuables they ask for blood,”

Seeing my puzzled face Sivaganesh went onto say: “There was an old man with his two year old grandchild where we were staying as prisoners. He couldn’t bear to see his little kid crying and he went and asked those of the ‘organisation’ to give him two spoons of milk powder. They had asked that old man to give a pint of blood so that they’ll give what he wants. He returned empty handed cursing the LTTE because the man himself doesn’t look as if he has any blood in his veins.”

As he was speaking the volunteers of the ICRC who are from the area and those who were engaged in unloading people from the Green Ocean ship and bring them to the receiving centre were seeing busily engaged in their activities.

When he attempted to speak to the ICRC volunteers there they refused saying that they are not supposed to speak to anyone about the civilians.
Meanwhile, a female Navy officer came carrying an injured infant and it was difficult to see where there was not a wound.

“They do not want us to leave and if we were caught when escaping they shoot us no matter whether you are a child, a youth or an elderly person. Earlier we also believed in them but not anymore. There are only 10 per cent of people who are still willing to stay even if they get killed in the battle as they are directly involved with the Organisation. The rest is waiting either till they get a chance to escape or till the government rescues them,” Sivaganesh added.
All those who come from the no-fire zone (NFZ) were subjected to a thorough security screening jointly by the Army and the Navy personnel.

A boatman who was earlier a fisherman in Kokilai area said they were paid Rs. 2700 per turn by the ICRC while the volunteers paid Rs.500 per day for all the work they do.

“We can distinguish an injured civilian from an injured LTTE cadre. Those who accompany someone and come with at least a bundle of clothes are fleeing civilians who were shot by the LTTE. There are injured people who come without any belongings. Sometimes, they manage to accompany someone even though they do not take anything with them. Those are the injured LTTE cadres who come for treatments,” he said.

The majority of the civilians expressed that they like to return to their original lands.
“We also like to go there like others, but only if the government clears those areas and if we do not have to face the organisation. Until then we would like to stay in whatever the place assigned to us and no matter how long it takes. Those fellows (LTTE) did not let our children go to school or learn anything else,” a group of civilians who came onboard the Green Ocean said.

 


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