- Destruction in Karaithuraipattu AGA Division
- 17 September
Karaithuraipattu, translated in to English as Maritimepattu, is a coastal Assistant Government Agent (AGA) Division of the Mullaithivu District (see map). The population of this AGA Division is about 55,000 individuals in about 11000 families.
Like all parts of the Vanni area, it too has seen a number of Sri Lankan Military’s aerial bombings, shelling and claymore attacks over the last two years. Some of the civilian casualities caused by these attacks were reported in the media. It is indeed appropriate to focus on civilian deaths, when reporting on a single incident. Other devastations in a single attack often do no appear dramatic and thus do not draw the attention. However, repeated attacks of this type have a cumulative and wide ranging effect on the community. This report is an attempt to bring out this devastation using the karaithuraipattu AGA division as an example.
Karaithuraipattu, being an eastern coastal village, is also an area worst affected by the 2004 tsunami. It is also well known that aid to rebuild tsunami affected communities did not reach this area and that the resulting difference in rebuilding this area compared to the tsunami affected areas in the south of the island is strikingly visible.
During a war situation, shortages of all kind, can lead to problems in collecting and maintaining data on the devastations caused by the attacks. NESoHR has collected this data long after the events, realizing the need to bring out the level of devastation . in this effort it approached both Gramasevakars as well as some of the non government organizations and collated the data they were holdin. It is , therefore, fair to say that the data presented does not cover all the attacks.
The attacks in each Gramasevakar divison till end of the august 2008 and the related devastations are presented as a list. The list notes the number of people killed, number of people injured, schools and other public places damaged, houses destroyed and damaged. Livestock killed, productive trees destroyed, livelihood equipment such as nets, fishermen shelter, boats and tractors destroyed. It also noted whether the people displaced after the attack.
The addition to these property losses, when a home is destroyed a lot more invaluable items, which may not have any monetary value to anyone outside the family, are lost. Losing the school books and work of children is a good example. Such a loose to a child will have devastating effect on the childs education. Behind the destruction of each home, is the lost education of one or more child.
The damage an exploding bomb does to the land is often ignored in reports. Besides destroying plants, the soil itself is dugout deep and to put the land that was once a very valuable habitation or farmland back to its old stage or even to state that is not dangerous is a costly exercise.
The typical news reports on such bombing hardly convey the devastation on civilian property and it is brushed off as collateral damage. The continuous and cumulative effect of these bombing on the psychological, educational and economic welfare of a community is ignored and not brought out in the news reports.