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Feature:  People Power & the elimination of LTTE- (By: Shenali Waduge ) 

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Last modified on: 3/24/2009 9:42:37 PM Over 50,000 civilians have sought protection with security forces amidst LTTE shelling and mortar attacks

Over 50,000 civilians have sought protection with security forces amidst LTTE shelling and mortar attacks

The numbers of escapees from the government declared No Fire Zone in Mullaittivu are swelling with an average of 1000 civilians daily received at the military outposts, defence observers stated citing recent IDP reports received since 19th March till 23rd March. A total of 6,158 civilians have escaped and sought protection with Army and Navy, after undergoing unprecedented hardships and torture with LTTE terrorists in the thin land strip of 17sq.kms. According to defence estimations made, around 75,000 - 120,000 civilians are forcibly trapped by LTTE and held hostage as human shield to prolong its probable defeat since the fall of Kilinochchi and Mullaittivu townships.

Terrorists are now cornered in a 24sq.km land and in the verge of facing its end-game in the 25 year odd prolonged fighting. Over the years LTTE terrorists have killed, assassinated and mayhemed civilians, politicians, diplomats and head of sates with use of world's most ruthless tactics including suicide bombers, vehicle bombs, claymore mine attacks and village massacres.

According to official reports provided by the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights, a total of around 51,099 civilians have sought protection with security forces including those rescued by the Navy and Army since January, 2009 till 23rd March 2009. These civilians have witnessed unprecedented torture and brutalism from the LTTE and many of their relatives were said burnt alive or hacked to death and hanged in posts for intimidation of others attempting to defy LTTE orders.

LTTE terrorists have ignored constant calls made by the Sri Lankan government and the International community for disarmament and the release of innocent civilians held hostage. According to independent observers, the LTTE's plan is to create a bloodbath and call for international intervention.

The Ministry figures shows that there are over 48,756 civilians brought into safety and looked after in 24odd civilian welfare centers located at Vavuniya, Jaffna and Mannar by the government and security forces. Furthermore, over 2,929 patient evacuated from Puthumathalan since 10th February, 2009 have received medical treatment at 9 government hospitals at Vavuniya, Pulmoddai and Trincomalee.

The risk imposed on the innocent civilians is alarming: people are been killed at pointblank range by LTTE terrorists and others dragged from the makeshift shelters in the No Fire Zone and never heard off. LTTE terrorists are also continuing with heavy artillery shelling at the civilians the sources said citing civilian escapees.

Meanwhile, according to reports the Sri Lankan Government and the WFP have sent over 1,265 MT of food and essential items for civilians stranded in the non-liberated territory since 17th February, 2009. Also, on 21st March, the Ministry of Health has sent 59 medicine and medical items to the non-liberated territory.

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