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* LTTE is trying to mislead the international community, says Sri Lanka government
Saturday, April 11, 2009, 17:28 GMT, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 11, Colombo: Sri Lanka government today said that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the terrorist organization is attempting to mislead the international community by using government doctors.

Issuing a special press release Health Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said that the statement made by the Provincial Health Directors of Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu over the alleged shell attacks to the No-Fire Zone were totally false.

According to the Minister these two health directors have made false claims to some media outlets that several civilians were killed last week due to the shell attacks by the government forces under the influence of LTTE.

The two doctors and a small nursing staff have remained with the LTTE and moved to the NFZ when Puthukkudyiruppu fell to the government forces and the hospital staff was evacuated to the government controlled areas.

The healthcare officials now function out of a makeshift hospital LTTE has setup mainly to treat the injured LTTE cadres. The government officials believe the doctors, under duress of LTTE, make these claims to the foreign media on the orders of LTTE.

Meanwhile the provincial health director of Mullaitivu has told the media that malnutrition among children in his district has risen to 21%.

However the Ministry pointed out that the malnutrition among children in Hambanthota district, which the country's President represents, has risen to 23%.

According to the UN aid agencies, this year the US aid agency USAID has provided 19,500 metric tons of food to the Tamil civilians in the area. The World Food Program shipment of 1,030 metric tons of food commodities on an ICRC-chartered ship was sent to Putumatalam in Mullaitivu District on April 2. The shipment of rice, wheat flour, lentils, oil, and sugar will benefit 100,000 IDPs for 20 days.

The government citing escaped civilians says most of the aid sent to the NFZ is pilfered by the LTTE for their consumption and only a third reaches the civilians.

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