Wednesday, January 28, 2009

LTTE hold 300 patients hostage

*Prevents ICRC, UN transferring them from Puthukkudiyiruppu to Vavuniya
*Army offers full facilities but Tigers refuse to release patients
ICRC and UN officials, who went to Puthukkudiyiruppu area to get some three hundred patients to be transferred to Vavuniya Hospital for further action were refused and twisted away by Tiger terrorists yesterday afternoon while holding all those patients imprisoned as 'human shields'.
Those ICRC and UN officials with the meaning of bringing those 300 patients in Puthukkudiyiruppu uncleared areas to Vauniya on 16 ambulances, seven trucks and one other vehicle had reached the LTTE roadblock to transfer those patients to vehicles provided by the troops in empty areas.
Troops portion empty areas in Puthukkudiyiruppu responded absolutely and at the same time organised 12 ambulances and five buses to pick the sick for further way to Vavuniya hospital after ICRC and UN officials brought them to the empty areas on their vehicles between 10.00 a.m. - 12.00 noon yesterday. Three hospital, 12 nurses and eight attendants on those vehicles, sent from Vavuniya awaited at the Puthukkudiyiruppu front-line, held by the troops with child to receive the patients, but to no avail.
Finally, ICRC and UN officials contacting military establishment have reported that the patients on 16 ambulances, World Food Programme (WFP) trucks and another vehicle were being held, under arrest and prevented from entering cleared areas by gun-carrying LTTE men who have had heated influence with ICRC and UN officials over non-release.
A request from ICRC and UN officials for additional extension of time share by another hour or so for the movement of those patients was also right away decided by the troops in view of the caring nature of the whole mission.
However, by about 1,30 p.m. yesterday final hopes for secure of the let go ended in smoke, as all ICRC and UN official had to give-up the idea and knowledgeable the troops of their breakdown to get the release of those vehicles with patients to move into Vavuniya Hospital, as listed and co-ordinated, following an ICRC ask for made to the Wanni Security Forces head office.
Troops, in spite of several safety risks, involved in tolerant the challenge of dispatching those patients, occupant outside the demarcated 'No Fire Zone' were all out to make bigger their fullest co-operation for the vehicle group after intensification security all along the A-9 road, but the Tigers with the sinister motive of causing havoc and bloodbath taking them as human shields refrained the ICRC and UN from embarking on this humanitarian mission.
ICRC and UN delegations that failed in this caring mission included four expatriates including a few local workers who had now vowed to take the substance up with their head office overseas.
It was just four days ago, the UN in a strongly-worded letter asked the LTTE to immediately stop harassing UN staff busy in humanitarian missions in LTTE held areas.

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