History

Vallipunam Senchcholai Complex Massacre 2006.08.14.!

Vallipunam Senchcholai
Complex Massacre
2006.08.14

Press Release August 22nd Tuesday Urgent Appeal to Halt Military Activities in and Restore Normalcy to the NorthEast -NESOHR

The NorthEast Secretariat On Human Rights (NESOHR) is highly perturbed over the increasing militaristic approach of the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) in resolving disputes with its partner in the Cease Fire Agreement (CFA). The parties to the CFA trading accusations against each other as to who fired the first shot is highly debatable but the harm caused to civilian life cannot, however be glossed over.

In this context, our attention is drawn to the ‘confusion’ surrounding the aerial bombardment that killed 51 students and injured 136 in Mullaittivu while undergoing a programmed first aid and leadership training. The necessity for such a course in first aid and leadership for senior students selected from many schools in the Kilinochchi and Mullaittivu districts arose consequent to frequent air raids by SLAF Kfir jets commencing from the first of its kind during ceasefire in Muttur.

When Mullaittivu and Kilinochchi became the hunting ground of these killing machines, the teaching community along with the parents felt the necessity to train students senior enough to take leadership and impart basic knowledge of first aid and precaution during air raids. Killing of school children by aerial bombardment in Nagarkovil in the Jaffna district during mid nineties is still
fresh in the minds of the teachers and parents and therefore a collective effort was undertaken to train these students.

In the background of falsehoods that are on the air implying that the location was a military training ground of the LTTE and those killed were trainee combatants, NESOHR carried out its own investigations with the view to bring out the truth for the benefit of those who are still kept in the dark. NESOHR wishes to vouchsafe that those killed were in fact students undergoing training for first aid during air raids and were not in any way connected to any military training programme.

Results of this investigation are attached as annexures to this document in the following order:
1. Principals Association letter to UNICEF
2. Leadership Training Programme for A/L students 2006 – Syllabus
3. Time Table for the programme
4. Detailed list of students killed
5. Details of students injured

Curfew and closure of entry points:
NESOHR is equally concerned about the curfew in the Jaffna peninsula that has invariably imprisoned a people already on the fringe of frustration and despair due to perpetual subjugation under a hostile military occupation for nearly a decade now. During the communal pogroms of 1958 and 1977 the Tamil people
who were the victims of racial hatred did pray that a curfew be declared to safeguard themselves from being killed but the then governments procrastinated and left the innocent Tamils in the hands of hoodlums and a police and army that were mere on-lookers. Those were curfews the governments elected not to impose, for those who sought for it were innocent Tamil people; in fact, there wasn’t a war between two parties and Tamils as one party were a passive unarmed nation of people facing discrimination and military oppression. Whenever they drew attention through democratic and non-violent means, the
strong arm of law crushed the opposition, paving the way for Tamil militancy.

Right to life – Freedom of movement:
Exacerbating the out-of-gear situation due to curfew, Jaffna peninsula, districts of Kilinochchi and Mullaittivu, Mannar and many parts of Trincomalee and Batticaloa remain cut off commencing 11 August 2006. Aerial bombings, artillery shelling and multi barrel rockets on civilian population in this undeclared war, have cumulatively placed the people in a critical situation
wherein the freedom to flee for safety itself has been denied. Scarcity of food essentials, fuel and medicines, denial of access to treatment of the seriously injured in the bombings, all during a cease-fire period are matters that the international community needs to take up with the government. Two infants, a
critically ill pregnant mother and a 60 year old man with a hip fracture transported in the Kilinochchi Ambulance vehicle were denied access to avuniya hospital yesterday, 21 August 2006 at the Omanthai military entry point by the SL military. This inhuman denial of access to medical treatment resulted in one child dying on return to Kilinochchi. Under the cover of curfew, the military in the occupied parts of the Jaffna peninsula and elsewhere is engaged in a spree of killing civilians including academics, university students, a former Tamil legislator. Also noteworthy is the fact that scores of civilians were killed by shelling in Allaippiddy in the Jaffna district and those injured were not
allowed to seek treatment in the Jaffna hospital by a military blockade. Relatives and humanitarian workers were not allowed to remove the dead bodies for burial in time. The militaristic approach of the government in dealing with democratic
human rights issues is amply demonstrated and testified by the appointment of a retired military commander as the Government Agent (Chief Administrative Officer) of Trincomalee in violation of the basic principles of appointing members from the Civil Administrative Service. A government that is brazenly violating a CFA by engaging in aerial bombings, shellings, roacket attacks,
forcibly keeping a civilian population imprisoned within the confines of military gates and imposing an undeclared foodmedicine- economic embargo deservedly earn the reputation of a ‘rogue state’ and therefore the international community in general and universal human right lovers have a solemn obligation to effectively intervene now.

Fr. M. X. Karunaratnam
Chairperson

Training programme for A/L students in leadership -2006 Syllabus Purpose:
• Guidance on Introspection leading to build self confidence
• Unity and inter-action among students and training to function as groups
• Familiarising leadership qualities
• Importance of time management and progress through timeliness
• Basic first aid lessons and usefulness to the society during times of disasters
• Gender equality and the necessity to work for the welfare of women
Participants: G.C.E.A/L students
Participating schools:
Mullaittivu Zone:
Bharathy Maha Vidyalayam
Visvamadu Maha Vidyalayam
Udaiyarkaddu Maha Vidyalayam
Puthukkudiyiruppu Central College
Iranaippalai Maha Vidyalayam
Mullaittivu Maha Vidyalayam
Vidyananda College, Mulliyawalai
Chemmalai Maha Vidyalayam
Kumulamunai Maha Vidyalayam
Vatrappallai Maha Vidyalayam

Kandavalai Zone:
Paranthan Hindu Maha Vidyalayam
Kandavalai Maha Vidyalayam
Murasumoddai Maha Vidyalayam
Tharmapuram Maha Vidyalayam
Piramanthanaru Maha Vidyalayam

Oddusuddan Zone:
Oddusuddan Maha Vidyalayam
Katsilaimadu G.T.M.S.
Muththaiyankaddu Right Bank Maha Vidyalayam
Number of students: 500
Period: 11 August to 20 August 2006
Venue: Sencholai complex, Vallipunam

News from Tamil net
http://www.tamilnet.com

UNICEF: “Bombing of innocent girls, shocking result of violence”
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 15 August 2006, 11:12 GMT]
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Tuesday said that the bombing on Monday of a Vallipunam Sencholai compound in Mullaithivu district that reportedly killed dozens of girls and wounded many more is a “shocking result of the rising violence,” in Sri Lanka and called on all parties to respect international humanitarian law and ensure children and the places where they live, study and play are protected from harm. “These children are innocent victims of violence,” said Ann M. Veneman, UNICEF Executive Director.

Full text of the UNICEF press release follows:

UNICEF: Children are victims of the conflict in Sri Lanka
Colombo, New York, Geneva, 15 August 2006 – The bombing on Monday of a Vallepuram compound in Mullaitivu district that reportedly killed dozens of girls and wounded many more is a shocking result of the rising violence in Sri Lanka, UNICEF said
today.

“These children are innocent victims of violence,” said Ann M. Veneman, UNICEF Executive Director. “We call on all parties to respect international humanitarian law and ensure children and the places where they live, study and play are protected from harm.”

The compound in the northern part of the country was bombed, reportedly killing as many as 40 adolescent girls. Some 100 children were wounded, many critically. Girls from various
schools in the nearby district of Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi were staying overnight at the compound, attending a two-day course in first-aid.

UNICEF staff from a nearby office immediately visited the compound to assess the situation and to provide fuel and supplies for the hospital as well as counselling support for the
injured students and the bereaved families.

This latest incident comes amidst escalating hostilities in Sri Lanka in recent weeks, where tens of thousands of children were displaced from their homes. Hundreds of children have
been injured, lost family members, and live in constant fear of the violence and continuous shelling of their communities.

Day of mourning for teenagers killed in airstrike
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 15 August 2006, 09:50 GMT]
Tamils in the Vanni Tuesday mourned the 61 teenage schoolgirls killed in Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) bombing Monday. Urging the international community to condemn the attack, the Tamileelam Students Association (TSA) said “there are no words strong enough to condemn the Sri Lankan government’s pre-meditated massacre of innocent school girls in a peaceful learning environment”

Tamileelam Students Association (TSA) called “immediate action against those responsible for this vicious massacre, so justice can prevail.”

“We mark this day, the 15th of August, as a Day of Mourning of the Vallipunam school girls massacre. We ask the people of Tamil Eelam and all Tamils living throughout the world to observe this Day of Mourning wholeheartedly,” the press release further said.

Meanwhile a protest march was held in Kilinochchi condemning the air attack.

A large number of people gathered at Kandaswamy temple in Kilinochchi and marched to the UNCEF office, shouting slogans and carrying placards condemning the Sri Lanka Government for the attack.

Sri Lanka Government’s spokesman, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, claimed the bombed site was a Tamil Tiger military training camp.

International ceasefire monitors who visited the site said they couldn’t find “any evidence of military installations or weapons.”

The head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), Ulf Henricsson, said monitors who visited Chencholai Valaham after the airstrike said they found at least 10 bomb craters and
an unexploded bomb.

“It was not a military installation, we can see [that],” Mr. Henricsson told Sri Lanka’s MTV television.

Killed students, participants of leadership workshop – Ilankumaran
[TamilNet, Monday, 14 August 2006, 22:33 GMT]
The Director of Tamileelam Educational Board, V. Ilankumaran, in an interview to TamilNet Monday said that the schoolgirls killed and injured in Monday’s Kfir attack were participants in a 10-day residential “Leadership, Self-Awareness and First Aid workshop.”
More than 400 G.C.E. A/L students from 18 different schools in Kilinochchi, Mullaithivu, and Oddusuddan Educational Zones, and selected girls from other educational organisations took part in the annual programme, Mr. Ilankumaran said. According to the timetable of the course, 7:00 a.m. on Monday, the time the air-strike took place, was the time of morning assembly.

The workshop aimed at building self-confidence ended in tragic
destruction when SLAF bombers hit the orphanage-campus, Sencholai.

“This annual program, started on 11th August and scheduled to end on 20th, was initiated by the zonal department of Education, Kilinochchi and funded and supported by Centre for Women’s Rehabilitation and Development (CWRD),” Ilankumaran further said.

“The workshop aimed at developing student leaders by building self confidence through understanding self, building inter-personal relationship, knowing leadership qualities, effective time management, helping self and others by learning first aid, and learning principles of gender equality,” said V.Ilankumaran.

The residential workshop was held with public knowledge, and parents were visiting the girls regularly, Ilankumaran added.
“Today’s terrible pre-meditated attack on the helpless schoolgirls is an attack not only to destroy educational opportunities for the deprived Tamil students. but also an attack on the student community at large,” he said.

“Successive Sinhala governments have denied the right to equal educational opportunity to the Tamil community. Our tortuous history bears testimony to the Sinhala approach to Tamil
demand for equlity: Sinhala extreme nationalist agenda attacked us whenever and wherever it had the opportunity,” said V.Ilankumaran.

Sri Lankan government orders closure of schools one week ahead
[TamilNet, Monday, 14 August 2006, 18:46 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s Education Ministry Monday ordered that all schools in the island should be closed from Tuesday till August 27. The reason given by the ministry for the closure is in connection with the South Asian Games which is to commence on August 18 in Colombo. Schools are to be reopened for the third term on August 28, according to the new directive, Education Ministry sources said.

According to the school academic calendar, all schools should close on August 22 for the second term and recommence on September 04 for the third term. The closure of schools has
been advanced one week ahead, education ministry sources said.

Bombed site ‘not military installation’ – SLMM
[TamilNet, Monday, 14 August 2006, 16:15 GMT]
International ceasefire monitors who visited the site of the Sri Lankan airstrike Monday which killed 61 school girls and wounded 129 said they couldn’t find “any evidence of military installations or weapons.” Head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), Ulf
Henricsson, said monitors who visited Chencholai Valaham after the airstrike said they found at least 10 bomb craters and an unexploded bomb. “It was not a military installation, we can see [that],” Mr. Henricsson told Sri Lanka’s MTV television.

Mr. Henricsson said his staff visited Chencholai Valaham at 11 a.m. Monday. They examined the site and spoke to eyewitnesses who described the raid by four jets.

He said his staff had not finished counting the dead, but said the official count of 61 killed seemed “fairly correct.”

“We couldn’t find any sign of military installations or weapons,” Mr. Henricsson said. “This was not a military installation, we can see.”

But the Sri Lankan government’s official spokesman, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, insisted the bombed site was a Tamil Tiger training camp.

“We have complete proof,” he said.

“We will show it to the relevant authorities,” Minister Rambukwella said, without elaborating.

He said the accusations that innocent school girls had been killed “was purely a propaganda exercise [by the LTTE] to counter their defeats in the North and East.”

He repeated that the government would show “print proof” to “any person or organization” But he did not elaborate what the proof was.

Meanwhile some media in Colombo began reporting that schools would be closed indefinitely from 4 p.m. Monday onwards. The reports quoted government announcements, but no official statement has been distributed yet.

ITRO condemns SLAF attack on “Peace Village” with 5 orphanages
[TamilNet, Monday, 14 August 2006, 13:42 GMT]
Chencholai Valaham is the campus among the orphanages at the Peace Village of Vallipunam, said the International Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation (ITRO London), the representative body of the overseas offices of the Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation in a press statement condemning the Sri Lanka Air Force bombing that killed 61 schoolchildren and wounded more than 129. “The area is well known by all parties: the Government of Sri Lanka, the Government Agent, ICRC, UNICEF and all those who work in the Vanni,” the organisation said urging the international community to condemn the bombing.

Full text of the press release by the ITRO follows:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
14 August 2006
ITRO condemns Sri Lanka Air Force bombing of Orphanage
ITRO calls upon the international community to condemn the bombing of Chencholai orphanage and call for an immediate international investigation of this mass murder of children.

Chencholai Valaham an orphanage for girls in Vallipunam was bombed by Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) Kfir jet bombers at 7 am this morning (14/08/06). The latest information indicates that 61 girls have been killed, with the death toll expected to increase, and over 129 injured.

The location of this children’s home is well know by all parties: the Government of Sri Lanka, the Government Agent, ICRC, UNICEF and all those who work in the Vanni. It has been in existence at the current location since 1998.

This area is a “peace village” with 5 orphanages, which are registered with the Government of Sri Lanka as orphanages, within a 1 km radius:

• Chencholai Girls Home
• Bharathy Illam Girls Home (a TRO run home): 160 girls – tsunami and war affected
• Inniya Valvu Illam (a TRO run home for deaf & blind children): 78 children
• Vasanthan Children’s home: 60 girls – tsunami and war affected
• Senthair Ilam (relocated from Mullaitivu after being destroyed by the tsunami): 130
children

Every weekend girls from the surrounding areas come to the orphanage for ‘first aid’ training which includes life and leadership skills training. These children were preparing to go back to their homes when 16 bombs were dropped on them. The surviving children have been severely traumatised by the events of this morning and will require further counselling and support.

TRO calls on the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, International Human Rights agencies (Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch), the Government Agent, and Civil
Society investigate this crime against humanity. The climate of impunity that exists in Sri Lanka contributes to the abuse of human rights and extrajudicial killings. The bombing of this orphanage, the execution of the 17 Action Contre la Faim Tamil staff, the abduction of the 7 TRO staff in January, and the continuing denial of humanitarian relief to war displaced in the Trincomalee District are just a few of the recent human rights abuses committed by
the government or paramilitaries affiliated with the government.

Sencholai attack “pre-meditated, deliberate and vicious”- TNA

[TamilNet, Monday, 14 August 2006, 11:23 GMT]
The parliamentary group of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) condemned Sri Lankan government’s attack on Sencholai childrens’ home as “not merely atrocious and inhuman – it
clearly has a genocidal intent…The heavy aerial bombardment on the premises clearly indicates that the attack was premeditated, deliberate and vicious,” and appealed to the International Community “to take the earliest possible action to stop the Sri Lankan State from proceeding with its genocidal program,” in an urgent press release issued in Colombo Monday.

Full text of the press release follows:

URGENT PRESS RELEASE

According to reports received thus far 61 children – all girls – students in GCE (O/L) and GCE (A/L) classes in different schools in Mullaitheevu have been killed as a result of heavy aerial bombardment by Kfir jet bombers of the Sri Lankan Air Force, around 7am this morning on the premises of the “Senchcholai” at Vallipunam, on the Paranthan – Mullaitheevu Road, at Mullaitheevu. Over 150 other children, all girls, also students in GCE
O/L and GCE (A/L) classes in different schools in Mullaitheevu have been seriously injured in the course of the same aerial bombardment at the same place. It is feared that the number
of deaths would increase.

“Senchcholai” is an institution housing a girl’s home caring for children rendered orphans by war. The children were attending a seminar on First-Aid.

These were all unarmed and innocent children engaged in an educational program related to humanitarian aid.

The heavy aerial bombardment on the premises clearly indicates that the attack was premeditated deliberate and vicious. The heavy repeated aerial bombardment of the same
premises clearly indicates the bombing was definitely not accidental. The ferocity of the attack clearly indicates that its objective was to cause the maximum possible casualties. The
objective was to kill the maximum number of Tamil children. It is significant that thus far there are no reports of adult casualties.

This attack is not merely atrocious and inhuman – it clearly has a genocidal intent. It is yet another instance of brazen State Terrorism.

In yet another incident, displaced Tamil civilians who had taken refuge at the Philip Neriyar Church at Allaipiddy came under heavy artillery fire around midnight on Saturday the 12th
of August 2006. Over 25 Tamil civilians were killed by this attack and over 50 other Tamil civilians grievously injured.

In both these instances, the Government Military Forces were definitely aware that the victims would be the Tamil civilian population. The attacks were nevertheless carried out with callous disregard to the sanctity and security of Tamil civilian life.

The government’s indiscriminate aerial bombardment and artillery shelling has in the recent past caused heavy civilian casualties in several parts of the Tamil speaking Northeastern
region.

We appeal on behalf of the Tamil speaking civilian population to the International Community particularly to India, to take the earliest possible action to stop the Sri Lankan State from proceeding with its genocidal program.

We strongly condemn the massacre of innocent children at “Senchcholai” Mullaitheevu and innocent civilians at Philip Neriyar Church at Allaipiddy.

Bombed compound, a well-known humanitarian zone – GS
[TamilNet, Monday, 14 August 2006, 10:43 GMT]
The Grama Sevaka (a civil servant) of Vallipunam, Mr. Sivarajah, told reporters Monday that the area around the “Sencholai” home where 61 children were killed and 129 wounded by Sri Lankan bombers Monday morning was a well identified civilian zone with other residential homes, including those for the disabled, sources in Mullaitivu said.

SLMM official at the attack site

“[The Sencholai] compound was established eight years ago and is well known to international agencies,” Mr. Sivarajah said. “Many UN seminars, including those conducted by UNICEF have been held here.”

“The Sencholai building has been for the past 8 years used to house girls who had lost one or more parents. Several other institutions providing humanitarian services are located close to
Sencholai.

“”Iniya Valvu Illam,” a house for the severely disabled, “Gandhi Illam,” a children’s home for boys, “Vasantham,” another children’s home are located within 1 km from the Sencholai building that witnessed the carnage today,” Mr Sivarajah said.

“Administrators of the Iniya Valvu Illam have informed me that the disabled children in their home are severely traumatized, and their staff has been consoling and counselling the children,” Mr Sivarajah added.

The TNA, a coalition of Sri Lanka’s four largest Tamil political parties, condemned the airstrike in which four Kfir jets dropped a total of 16 bombs, and appealed to the international community to restrain Sri Lanka’s armed forces.

“This attack is not merely atrocious and inhuman – it clearly has a genocidal intent. It is yet another instance of brazen state terrorism,” the TNA said.

Updated: Wednesday, 16 August 2006, 16:36 GMT
6TH LEAD 61 schoolgirls killed, 129 wounded in airstrike
[TamilNet, Monday, 14 August 2006, 04:15 GMT]
At least 61 schoolgirls were killed and 129 were wounded when Sri Lankan Kfir jets bombed a children’s home compound in Mullaithivu district Monday morning where
schoolgirls were attending a residential course on first aid, LTTE officials at the Peace Secretariat in Kilinochchi said. Ambulances were rushing the wounded, many of whom are bleeding badly, to hospitals, sources said. Officials of the LTTE, briefing reporters in
Kilinochchi, described the attack as “a horrible act of terror” by the Sri Lankan armed forces. UN’s child agency, UNICEF, and international truce monitors have visited the scene of the carnage.

Four Kfir jet bombers of the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) dropped 16 bombs on the premises of the Sencholai children’s home in Vallipunam on Paranthan-Mullaithivu road, killing at least 61 schoolgirls who were attending

33 bodies have been taken to Puthukudiyiruppu hospital. Other bodies, in severely damaged state, were being identified.

More than 400 schoolgirls were staying in Chencholai. Kfir bombers were flown to the target without circling over the attack site, civilian sources said.

52 wounded girls were rushed to Mullaithivu hospital. 13 were admitted at Puthukudiyiruppu hospital. At least 64 wounded were taken to Kilinochchi hospital.

Girls from various schools in the Mullaitivu district were staying overnight at the compound, attending a course in first-aid, LTTE officials in Kilinochchi said.

The officials at the LTTE Peace Secretariat denounced the Sri Lankan airstrike as “a horrible act of terror.”

They condemned the “deliberate, cold-blooded and inhumane” targeting of the schoolgirls compound by the daylight air raid.

The LTTE Peace Secretariat urged representatives of international agencies in Kilinochchi, including UNICEF, to visit the site of the bombing.

They also urged the international Sri Lankan Monitoring Mission (SLMM), overseeing the 2002 Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) to attend the site.

In September 1999, SLAF jets killed 21 people in a similar daylight raid.

Commenting at the time, in 1999, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said: “We can confirm that 21 civilians were killed consequent to the air strike at Manthuvil junction …The ICRC deplores the fact that the air strikes were carried out in a civilian
area.”

The ICRC is yet to comment on the Sencholai bombing.

The site bombed by Sri Lankan jets on Monday had been designated a humanitarian zone and the LTTE had passed its coordinates on to the military via the UN children’s agency,
UNICEF, and the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC), NGO sources said Tuesday.

The Sri Lankan military had been given precise coordinates of where ‘Peace village’ comprising the Senchcholai home hit by Monday’s airstrike and other humanitarian centres is located.

The GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) details were passed to the Sri Lankan military during the last period of conflict, before the 2002 ceasefire, as part of efforts to ensure protection of humanitarian spaces during conflict, NGO sources told TamilNet.

On Monday four Kfir jet bombers dropped 16 bombs directly on the children’s home, destroying several buildings and killing scores of teenagers and wounding 150 others.

The Sri Lankan government says it targeted an LTTE training camp, killing “50-60 terrorists” and Tuesday showed journalists what if claimed was footage.

But UNICEF chief in Colombo JoAnna VanGerpen told AFP Tuesday: “As of this time, we don’t have any evidence that they are LTTE cadres.”

“These were children from surrounding schools in the area who were brought there for a two-day training workshop on first aid, by whom we don’t know yet,” Ms. VanGerpen told AFP.

Sri Lankan officials had briefed some journalists claiming the Senchcholai home had a firing range and fortifications.

But the international monitors overseeing the 2002 truce disagreed.

“We couldn’t find any sign of military installations or weapons,” Head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), Ulf Henricsson said. “This was not a military installation, we can see [that from our visit]” But the Sri Lankan government’s official spokesman, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, insisted the bombed site was a Tamil Tiger training camp.

He said the accusations that innocent schoolgirls had been killed “was purely a propaganda exercise [by the LTTE] to counter their defeats in the North and East.”

Canada expresses concern over Escalation of Hostilities in Sri Lanka [TamilNet, Wednesday, 16 August 2006, 05:01 GMT]
Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Peter MacKay, in a statement on Tuesday expressed concern regarding the escalation of hostilities in Sri Lanka. Canadian Tamils held a rally in front of his ministry in the capital Ottawa, demanding immediate action by Canada, on Monday, after Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) bombed the Sencholai children home in Mullaithivu where tens of teenage school girls were killed and more than a hundred wounded.

“Canada is concerned by the escalation of hostilities in Sri Lanka
between government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). We call for an immediate cessation of hostilities and a return to negotiations,” he said in his statement.

Canadian Tamils declared a day of muorning on Tuesday, staging vigils in Ottawa and in four places in Toronto.

Vavuniya, Trinco observe hartal, mourning day for massacred children
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 16 August 2006, 08:20 GMT]
General shut down and the day of mourning day was observed in the districts of Vavuniya and Trincomalee Wednesday condemning the massacre of about sixty one children in
Puthukudiruppu Sencholai children home in Mullaitivu district by Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF), killing of seventeen workers of French NGO in Muthur by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and indiscriminate killing of Tamil civilians in the North East by the State armed
forces, sources said.

Vavuniya district

Tamils of Vavuniya district observed day of mourning and hartal in response to the call made by Tamil National Brigade and in Trincomalee Tamils to the appeal by Tamil Resurgence Community, sources said.

In Vavuniya and Trincomalee business establishments of all three communities were closed. Central government and provincial council offices did not function. Branches of State and private sector banks did not operate. Post offices were closed. Law courts in the two districts did not function as lawyers and litigants did not turn up. Public markets did not function as vendors did not turn up. Bus services run by state and private sector to and from Trincomalee and Vavuniya to other parts of the country came to a halt as bus stands were seen deserted without commuters, sources said.

In Vavuniya people in villages hoisted black flags. More Sri Lankan troops were deployed in Vavuniya to enforce law and order.

In Trincomalee roads were seen deserted without civilian and traffic movement.

Batticaloa protest march condemns Sencholai air raid
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 16 August 2006, 21:47 GMT]
In protest marches across Batticaloa district organized by the Federation of the Batticaloa District Civilian Organizations, in LTTE controlled Kokkaddichcholai area, hundreds of school children and district residents took part, condemning the Chencholai attack in which 61 school girls were killed in Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) Kfir bombing, Tuesday, sources in Batticaloa said.

Marches starting from Capt. Anparasan Memorial Statue in Thandiyadi, and another starting from Col. Kiddu Memorial Statue in Paddippalai, joined in Paddippalai Divisional secretariat where memoranda were handed over to Mrs. Vasuhi Arulrajah, the Divisional Secretary, for transmission to Kofi Annan, The Secretary to UN, and Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapakse.

The marchers carried placards and shouted slogans including: “Do not force the carrying pens to carry weapons,” “Students’ power is great,” and others.

P.Ariyaneththiran, Tamil National Alliance Member of Parliament for Batticaloa District, gave an address of condolence speech.

Dr. Pannerselvam, the President of the Federation presided.

Diaspora Tamils condemn Sencholai Attack
[TamilNet, Thursday, 17 August 2006, 06:17 GMT]
Diaspora Tamils around the world held protest marches and vigils to condemn the aerial attack of Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) that reportedly killed 61 schoolgirls in Mullaithivu in Vanni, Tuesday. Participants urged the international community to ntervene to stop the atrocities of Sri Lanka armed forces and paramilitaries against Tamils in the Northeast, organizers said.

Norwegian State Secretary Raymond Johansen and Special Envoy Jon Hanssen- Bauer receiving an appeal from Tamil Youth’s Organisation in Oslo Wednesday.

In Norway, Tamil Youth Organization (TYO) organized a meeting in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at 11.00 a.m. and handed over a memorandum to Raymond Johansen the Deputy Foreign Minister and Jon Hanssen-Bauer , the special Peace Envoy to Sri Lanka.

Swiss Tamil Forum, a confederation of 26 Tamil organizations, held a procession in Geneva and handed over a memorandum to Phlip, D.O.Brien, the Regional Director, UNICEF,
Wednesday.

More than 3000 people, including many schoolchildren took part in the 1.5 km procession, which started at the Geneva Main Railway Station 3.00 p.m. and ended at the UNICEF Head Office. 61 schoolgirls wearing white blouses signifying their dead counterparts, tied their mouths with black bands led the procession holding candles.

Well known Human Rights Activists, Rev. Fr. Immanuel and C.V.Kirubaharan from International Tamil Human Rights Organization handed over the memorandum and explained the current situation in Sri Lanka.

Phlip D.O.Brien and Wivima Belmonte, Chief Communication Section received the memorandum, expressed their concerns and promised to get an immediate reply from the secretary General of UN, the organizers said.

In Belgium, a protest meeting was arranged in front of the EU parliament, 1.05 p.m. Wednesday.

Protests were organized in Germany on Wednesday and in England, Sweden, Finland, Netherlands, France and Italy on Tuesday.

Finland

Hartal in Mannar, demonstration in Musali condemning students’ massacre
[TamilNet, Thursday, 17 August 2006, 15:06 GMT]
General shut down and demonstration was held in Mannar district Thursday condemning the killing of students in Puthukudiruppu Sencholai children home and Tamil civilians elsewhere in the North East by aerial bombardment carried out by Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) and artillery fire by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA), sources said.

Large number of Tamil people from villages, Arippu, Silavathurai, Salarianpuram, Kondachchi, Kokupadaiyan, and Mullikulam participated in the demonstration which commenced from Silavathurai Church around 9.30 a.m.

concluded at the office of the Musali Divisional Secretariat via Mullikulam-Silavathurai road at about 11.30 a.m. A public

meeting was held thereafter and a memorandum addressed to President Mahinda Rajapakse was handed over to Musali DS officials, sources said.

Demonstration was organized by civil organizations in the LTTE controlled Musali division, sources said.

Normalcy was disrupted in Mannar town and its suburbs as shops were closed. Government departments did not function. Branches of state and private sector banks did not operate. Transport services were disrupted, sources said.

2ND LEAD
Sencholai air-strike killed 55, details released
[TamilNet, Friday, 18 August 2006, 09:25 GMT]
Director of Education for Kilinochchi district, T Kurukularaja, and Director of Education for Mullaitivu district, P Ariyaradnam, have informed their respective Government Agents the details of the 55 victims killed in the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) bombing on Sencholai campus in Vallipunam Monday.

On Thursday, Mullaithivu Principals Association and Kandavalai Principals Association, the organisors of the ten-day program, condemned the aerial bombardment that killed 55 schoolchildren and staffers.

“The residential course progressed to its fourth day, when on 14 August at 7:00 a.m the students were getting ready for the day’s program when four Sri Lankan government Kfir jets started showering the area with bombs,” the organisors said in a joint press release.

The final tally of those killed in the Vallipunam school camp aerial bombing (55 killed of which 51 are students and four are staff)
Names of students killed and the school they were attending from Mullaitivu district compiled by the Director of Education for Mullaitivu district, P Ariyaradnam, and sent to the
Government Agent for Mullaitivu:

1. School: Puthukkudiyiruppu Mahavidhyalayam
1. Thambirasa Lakiya DOB: 26-03-89, Mullivaikal west
2. Mahalingam Vensidiyoola DOB: 07-10-89, Mullivaikal west
3. Thuraisingam Sutharsini DOB: 28-07-89, Ward 10, PKT

2. School: Visuvamadu Mahavidhyalayam
1. Nagalingam Theepa DOB: 29-03-87, Puthadi, Visuvamadu
2. Thambirasa Theepa DOB: 07-02-87, Valluvarpuram, Redbarna
3. Thirunavukkarasu Niranjini DOB: 29-11-88, Puthadi, Visuvamadu
4. Raveenthirarasa Ramya DOB: 14-11-88, Thoddiyadi, V. madu
5. Kanapathipillai Nanthini DOB: 05-10-88, Koddiyadi, Visuvamadu
6. Vijayabavan Sinthuja DOB: 24-05-88, Koddiyadi, Visuvamadu
7. Naguleswaran Nishanthini DOB: 11-04-89, Thoddiyadi, V.madu
8. Tharmakulasingam Kemala DOB: 09-09-87, Kannakinagar,
9. Arulampalam Yasothini DBO: 18-01-88, Puththadi, Visuvamadu

3. School: Udayarkaddu Mahavidhyalayam

1. Muthaih Indra DOB: 08-08-88, Suthanthirapuram centre
2. Murugaiah Arulselvi DOB: 14-07-88, Suthanthirapuram centre
3. Sivamoorthy Karthikayini DOB: 13-02-88, Vallipunam
4. Santhanam Sathyakala DOB: 20-08-86, Vallipunam
5. Kanagalingam Nirupa DOB: 11-02-89, Visuvamadu
6. Kanagalingam Nirusa DOB: 11-02-89, Vallipunam
7. Navaratnam Santhakumari DOB: 28-05-88, Kaiveli
8. Nagalingam Kokila DOB: 12-02-87, Vallipunam
9. Sivamayajeyam Kokila DOB: Kuravil
10. Shanmugarasa Paventhini DOB:
11. Balakrishnan Mathani DOB: 09-05-88, Vallipunam

4. School: Mullaitivu Mahavidhyalayam
1. Sivanantham Thivya DOB: 30-05-88, Vannankulam
2. Thambirasa Suganthini DOB: 18-02-88, Alampil,
3. S Vathsalamary DOB: 20-11-86, Manatkudiyiruppu
4. Thanabalasingam Bakeerathy DOB: 03-02-87, Mullivaikal west
5. Thanikasalam Thanusa DOB: 02-12-87, Kallappadu
6. Pathmanathan Kalaipriya DOB: 23-09-88, Kovilkudiyiruppu
7. Markupillai Kelansuthayini DOB: 14-07-88, Vannankulam
8. Rasamohan Hamsana DOB: 29-05-87, Alampil

5. School: Kumulamunai Mahavidhyalayam
1. Vivekanantham Thadchayini DOB: 31-01-88, W 10, PTK
2. Santhakumar Sukirtha DOB: 08-08-87, Ward 7, Kumulamunai
3. Uthayakumaran Kousika DOB: 22-08-87, Kumulamunai
4. Nallapillai Ninthija DOB: 03-03-88, Ward 6, Kumulamunai
5. Veerasingam Rajitha DOB: 28-02-88, Ward 5, Kumulamunai

6. School: Vidhyananda College, Mulliyavalai
1. Thamilvasan Nivethika DOB: 02-12-88, Ward 2, Mulliyavalai
2. Suntharam Anoja DOB: 12-09-89, Kumulamunai
3. Puvanasekaram Puvaneswari DOB: 06-06-89, W 4, Mulliyavalai
4. Kiritharan Thayani DOB: 28-12-89, Thannerutru, Mulliyavalai

7. School: Chemmalai Mahavidhyalayam
1. Mahalingam Vasantharani DOB: 23-03-88, Alampil, Chemmalai
2. Thuraisingam Thisani DOB: 06-12-88, Alampil, Chemmalai
3. Vairavamoorthy Kirithika DOB: 12-07-87, Alampil, Chemmalai
4. Chandramohan Nivethika DOB: 04-01-89, Alampil, Chemmalai

8. School: Oddusuddan Mahavidhyalayam
1. Sellam Nirojini DOB: Koolamurippu, Oddusuddan
Names of students killed and the school they were attending from Kilinochchi
district compiled by the Director of Education for Kilinochchi district, T
Kurukularaja, and sent to the Government Agent for Kilinochchi.

9. School: Muruhananda Mahavidhyalayam
1. Tharmarasa Brintha DOB: 06-01-89, 189/1 Visuvamadu
2. Thevarasa Sharmini DOB: 09-03-89, 90, Periyakulam, Kandavalai

10. School: Tharmapuram Mahavidhyalayam
1. Varatharaja Mangaleswari DOB: 24-07-89, 577, 13 U, T.puram
2. Rasenthiraselvam Mahilvathani DOB: 04-12-88, Tharmapuram
3. Nilayinar Nivakini DOB: 04-04-89, Kaddakkadu, Tharmapuram
NESOHR – 37

11. School: Piramanthanaru Mahavidhyalayam
1. Kubenthiraselvam Lihitha DOB: 05-02-87, Kalaveddithidal,
Puliyampokanai

12. Names of staff killed
1. Chandrasekaran Vijayakumari (Age 27)
2. Kandasamy Kumarasamy (Age 48)
3. Solomon Singarasa (Age 65)
4. S Jeyarubi (Age 20)

Cowardly act, says Vallipunam survivor
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 23 August 2006, 07:54 GMT]
Paranthan Hindu Mahavidyalam student, Mary Arulappan Juliet, 18, a survivor of the August 14 Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) Kfir jet attack which killed 51 girls and four staff at Sencholai children’s home campus in Vallipunam in Mullaithivu district, in an interview to
TamilNet Tuesday, said the attack was a “cowardly act,” and appealed to the International Community to unreservedly condemn the Sri Lanka Government for the attack on school
girls.

Speaking at the TamilNet interview, Juliet said they were on a residential course, learning the necessary skills to administer First aid to people in an emergency especially to the sick and injured IDPs, and acquiring the skills necessary to provide emergency care to suffering persons before being transported for emergency medical treatment at hospitals.

“We were into the second day of our workshop on First aid and Disaster management skills. More than 400 school girls were in attendance at the 10-day workshop,” Juliet said.

“It was 7 a.m., we were by the compound well, when we saw the Kfir jets far-away and thought that they heading to the battle theater elsewhere. Within a seconds we saw them heading directly to our centre and suddenly started bombing our premises.
“As the bombs fell, the girls ran in all directions, and took cover by lying on the ground face down, hoping that the bombers will go away after attacking once. But the Kfir jets returned firing additional munitions directed to our facility,” Juliet added.

“There was chaos within the Sencholai premises with each round of bombing, as more students were getting wounded severely and getting killed. In between air strikes, the girls changed their cover locations by running to other positions to take better cover,” said Juliet.

During lull periods in bombing, girls would run out to the aid of the wounded girls and to carry them to safer locations. Rescue efforts got interrupted several times by the sudden return of Kfir jets.

“It was on one such rescue attempt that I got injured in my hand, although slightly, when a stray shrapnel hit my hand,” said Juliet.

“In the aerial strikes, many died on the spot, and many were wounded, most had multiple injuries, some lost their limbs, some had severe burns. All the girls were pleading for help, pleading to be taken to a hospital,” Juliet said.

Juliet blamed the Government of Sri Lanka(GOSL) for the attack and said that it was a “cowardly act.”

“I still have memories of the jets and the desperate calls of the girls for help. Earlier, I feared at nothing, but after witnessing this horrific masscre, even slight noises frighten me,” Juliet
said.

When asked what message she would like to give to the international community, the 18 year-old, Ms Mary Arulappan Juliet, replied: “I would urge the international community to
unreservedly condemn the Colombo government for the aerial attack, and to exert pressure on the GoSL to adhere to basic humanitarian principles.”

One more Vallipunam student succumbs to injuries
[TamilNet, Friday, 29 September 2006, 02:25 GMT]
One of the three students from Vallipunam, Mullaitivu, who were injured in the Kfir attack at the Sencholai building on 14 August, and taken to Kandy Hospital for further treatment, succumbed to her injuries Thursday night after she was brought back to the Vavuniya Hospital, hospital sources in Vavuniya said.

Thayalini and another injured student were brought back to Vavuniya Hospital on Wednesday, according to hospital sources.

One student still remains in Kandy Hospital.

Fifty one students and four staff members died in the attack on a residential educational camp of NorthEast high school students.

Body of Vallipunam school girl to be buried in Vavuniya
[TamilNet, Thursday, 05 October 2006, 20:07 GMT]
Vavuniya District Judge, M. Ilancheliyan Thursday gave directions to bury the body of the schoolgirl, Dayalini who was injured in the Sri Lankan Air Force Kfir attack on Chencholai on August 14, and later succumbed to injuries.

The body is to be buried on Sunday at Poonthottam Hindu Cemetery, in Vavuniya. Even though the autopsy was done at Vavuniya hospital, the body was taken to Anuradhapura
hospital and kept there for unexplained reasons. Dayalini was arrested and detained by Kandy Police while getting treatment at the Kandy hospital, and later transferred to avuniya hospital where she died.

 

 

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