LTTE’S DUPLICITY AND CALLOUSNESS
IN EXPLOITING THE MISERY IT HAS INFLICTED ON TAMIL CIVILIANS COME
TO THE FORE AGAIN
The LTTE is infamous for its duplicity in dealing
with the government, the people of Sri Lanka and the international
community. Ambassador Bernard Goonetilleke said that the LTTE’s
destructive measures and its callousness in exploiting the misery
of internally displaced Tamil civilians in the north and the east
of Sri Lanka created by the LTTE itself, are revolting.
The latest such incident is the long-awaited
and much-needed convoy of 117 trucks bearing food and essential
supplies for 40,000 people trapped by weeks of heavy fighting
in Sri Lanka`s restive east, was obstructed by LTTE artillery
fire in the afternoon of November 28, 2006.
This convoy organized by the Commissioner General of Essential
Services in cooperation with several international and local non-governmental
organizations such as the ICRC, UNICEF, World Food Program etc.,
reached the Mankerni Entry/Exit point in the morning of November
28, and consisted of 117 vehicles of food and other essential
The NGO representatives, who accompanied the
convoy, witnessed the LTTE attacks against the armed forces. They
were cautioned by the senior military officers to proceed at their
The LTTE intermittently fired ahead of the security
forces’ Forward Defence Lines (FDLs) at Kadjuwatte and Kirimichchikulam
area during the day of the 28th and the security forces were compelled
to neutralize LTTE fire to facilitate the movement of the convoy
toward Vakarai. While the trucks were moving into the LTTE-dominated
areas, the LTTE used the opportunity to move its cadres forward
in the direction of the armed forces’ checkpoint. One soldier
died and two others were injured during these attacks.
The food convoy was forced to turn back, but
the next day, in the afternoon of November 29, 84 vehicles managed
to get across to the LTTE-held areas in Vakarai. According to
the ICRC, a convoy of 35 trucks organized by the Department of
Essential Services in collaboration with the ICRC and the UN reached
Vakarai on November 29th.
The Head of the ICRC delegation in Colombo, Mr.
Toor Vandenhove, said, “Many difficulties had to be overcome
to organize this convoy. But thanks to meticulous preparation,
the security guarantees provided by both parties to the conflict
and the active involvement of many people, we finally succeeded
in reaching the thousands of displaced people, who are primarily
in urgent need of food.”
The relief operation received support from volunteers
of the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society, an Italian Red Cross team,
World Food Program, UNICEF, UNHCR and World Vision.
It is evident that after weeks of complaining
about a humanitarian condition prevailing in the area, the LTTE
deliberately obstructed the relief convoy from reaching the civilians
in Vakarai, to discredit the government in the eyes of the international
community. Earlier, the LTTE complained that the security forces
hindered relief supplies from getting into uncleared areas in
the east, an accusation, which was finally disproved before the
representatives of international NGOs.
Embassy of Sri Lanka
01 December 2006