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Posts Tagged ‘Swaminathan Natarajan’

The BBC has been criticized for at times carrying what many believed to be one-sided views of the Sri Lankan conflict. Allegedly, influenced by writers within the organization with links to the Tigers or to the Tamil community, some of whom are sympathetic to the LTTE cause.

Today however Swaminathan Natarajan of the BBC’s Tamil service has published an account based on an actual conversation with a civilian who escaped the LTTE in the conflict zone in Sri Lanka’s North. For this I am grateful to the author and to the BBC. The article clearly describes the repeated attempts by the civilians to escape LTTE custody over the last month.

Full article here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8013016.stm

Selected quotes:

“The LTTE had built a bund and because of that structure it was difficult to move. People had to walk through neck-deep water.

Some children fell down in the water. It was difficult to cross that area. I don’t know how to describe that.

We were trying to escape for the past month. We packed a few of our belongings and tried to escape at an opportune moment.

But we were prevented by the LTTE from escaping from the area.”

“In the LTTE-controlled areas life is very difficult. There is a huge shortage of food. There is heavy fighting and many are dying every day. Some days it is difficult to get a single meal. So we planned to escape to the government-controlled areas.

We were not bothered to take any of our belongings. We made three attempts in one month to escape but all of them were thwarted by the LTTE.

Now we have come to safety.”

“There has been no proper food for the past three days. Yesterday afternoon we got something to eat. Today, only in the late afternoon, we got food. But the amount is very little. We three shared a single meal.

I have not been given any clothes. So I am still wearing a dress which got wet and is covered by mud and dirt. I have not taken a bath for the past three days. It is very difficult here. My husband’s bandage needs to be changed immediately.”

Let’s hope the international community and the government get together to quickly clothe and feed these people who have gone through unimaginable torture over the last few months and still endure severe hardship.

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