Thursday, December 06, 2007


Doctors, nurses and other health workers are sick and tired of attacks by the Sri Lankan Army on ambulances and other humanitarian vehicles. Today they staged a brave protest of the Army's Deep Penetration Unit which is responsible for the outrageous actions.

On top of everything else, the Army has punished the victims.

For example, a recent Claymore attack carried out by Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Deep Penetration Unit (DPU) at Mudkompan, Pooneryn, that seriously injured the driver of the Mu'langkaavil hospital ambulance has resulted in the SLA introducing new regulations limiting the transport of patients by ambulance from Vanni only up to Omanthai.

TamilNet reports according to SLA regulations implemented on November 25th, the ambulances carrying patients from Vanni to Vavuniya hospital are stopped at Omanthai check point, patients forced to get down, subjected to rigorous checking, and then transported in SLA- operated ambulances to Vavuniyaa.

Nearly 45 patients from the General hospitals in Ki’linochchii, Mullaitheevu and from Puthukkudiyiruppu regional hospital in Vanni are transported to Vavuniyaa hospital for further treatment on a daily basis.

The patients include expectant mothers, children, women and the elderly. Apart from this some of the patients are seriously ill. Each ambulance arriving from Vavuniyaa transports up to ten patients. After the patients alight from the ambulance at SLA check point in Omanthai only three of them are allowed into the SLA operated ambulances and taken to Vavuniyaa, escorted by armed SLA troopers, sources said.

The rest of the patients including those requiring emergency treatment have to languish at the check point awaiting the arrival of the next SLA-operated ambulance from Vavuniyaa.

The ambulances which bbring patients up to Omanthai are forced to wait long hours till the army operated ambulances return from Vavuniyaa.

Meanwhile, at least 18 people were killed in Sri Lanka on Wednesday in two bomb attacks blamed on Tamil Tiger rebels, officials said, one day after the guerrillas' leader said peace with Colombo was impossible.

A powerful parcel bomb exploded outside a clothing store on the outskirts of the capital Colombo, killing 17, wounding 43 others and leaving the street littered with body parts, police said.

The attack came just hours after a disabled female suicide bomber blew herself up outside the office of a Tamil government minister, killing his secretary and injuring two security guards.

Great place to live.

The following is from TamilNet.

Medical staff in Vanni protest against DPU Claymore attacks on ambulances

More than 700 medical staff in Vanni, including doctors, nurses, technical staff, midwives and minor staff from K'ilinochchi and Mullaiththeevu districts, Thursday morning staged a protest against targeted Claymore attacks by the Sri Lanka Army Deep Penetration Unit (DPU) on ambulances and humanitarian vehicles. In August last year, a DPU attack on the ambulance of Nedungkea'ni claimed the lives of the doctor of Nedungkea'ni hospital, his wife, two nurses and the driver of the ambulance. On 25November, the driver of the ambulance of Muzhangkaavil hospital was seriously wounded in a Claymore attack at Mudkompan in Poonakari (Pooneryn).

The protesters had brought the ambulance which was damaged in a DPU attack at Mudkompan.

This is the first time after 15 years medical staff in the above districts have staged a wide scale protest, according to medical staff of the Ki'linochchi hospital.

Protests were staged at Ki'linochchi General hospital, at the office of the Regional Director of Health Services, Akkarayan Hospital, Muzhangkaavil hospital, Tharmapuram Hospital and Mullaiththeevu Hospital. The protesters demanded their security guaranteed from DPU attacks.

Vehicles belonging to Road Development Authority, Agricultural Department, Multi-Purpose Co-operative Society, North-East Irrigated Agriculture Project (NEIAP), humanitarian organisations engaged in serving the needs of displaced people and the vehicles of private firms engaged in development work (contractors) have also been targeted by the DPU Claymore attacks during the past 24 months. Civilians fleeing from air and artillery attacks from the SLA in bicycles, tractors and motorbikes have also become victims of the DPU Claymore attacks.

Details of some of the DPU attacks follow:

27 November 2007:
Seven school girls, three male volunteers and the driver of a Hiace van, engaged in rural first aid service, were killed on the spot at Iyangkea'ni on Kokkaavil - Thu'nukkaay Road in a Claymore attack carried out by an SLA DPU unit.

25 November 2007:
An ambulance that belongs to Muzhangkaavil hospital, engaged on medical service to the displaced civilians from Poonakari living in Mudkompan area, was targeted by a SLA DPU Claymore attack at Mudkompan. The driver of the ambulance, Thavaseelan, 29, was seriously wounded in the attack.

26 September 2007
the Mannaar district coordinator of Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) was killed when Sri Lanka Army Deep Penetration Unit (DPU) attackers launched a Claymore attack on his Hiace vehicle, at Kalvi'laan on Maangku'lam - Ve'l'laangku'lam road. The JRS vehicle was bringing in baby milk and essential humanitarian supplies for displaced children.

09 August 2006:
A medical doctor, his wife, two nurses and the driver of the ambulance belonging to Nedunkea'ni hospital, were killed Tuesday night when Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Deep Penetration Unit (DPU) attacked the ambulance, medical sources in Puthukudiyiruppu hospital said. Three Claymore mines in a row were exploded.

08 June 2006:
Four health officials of Tamileelam Health Service Mobile Medical Service, including a nurse and the driver of the vehicle, were wounded at Akkarayaan, 20 km from Ki'linochchi when an SLA DPU team exploded a Claymore mine

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