8:13 AM

IDPs hit by chicken pox and diarrhoea

Nearly 8,000 IDPs now housed in temporary camps have come down with chicken pox, Minister of Healthcare Nimal Siripala de Silva said.

Minister Silva told The News-Lanka that many were suffering from the disease before they escaped from the No Fire Zone and more IDPs are suffering from diarrhoea at the same time. "Diseases such as chicken pox spread faster when you have a large number of people living together in close quarters. Therefore, the doctors are using the acyclovir vaccine to control the spread of the disease," Silva said.

The Minister also said that Director of the Angoda Mental Hospital, Dr. Jayan Mendis and 50 more Mental Health Specialists have already been sent to treat the IDPs since they are suffering from mental depression, agony and pain.

"We are taking all measures to upgrade patient care and hospitals where IDPs are receiving medical care as their health had been neglected for years due to the on going war. The Ministry of Healthcare has taken all steps to strengthen the facilities since we want to give them the best care and facilities available in the country. They are part of us," Silva said.

The Minister said that the IDPs were found to be already weak and in urgent need of nutritious food when they arrived in the cleared areas. A majority of the civilians entering the safe areas were already suffering from injuries or various illnesses such as chicken pox, viral flu, respiratory, lung and skin infections, and diarrhoea.

8:12 AM

New No Fire Zone

The Sri Lankan government on Friday renamed the remaining area under occupation by the LTTE inside the No-Fire Zone (NFZ) as New Safety Zone (NSZ).

The Defence Ministry said here the Army now is in full control of more than two-third of the existing Puthumathlan "Safety Zone" and declared that the re-christened NSZ is confined to south of Karayamullivaikkal including Vellamullivaikkal — two km in length and 1.5 km in width — along the Mullathivu sea coast.


8:02 AM

IDP camp for 20,000 in Pulmuddai

A large-scale camp with a capacity to accommodate more than 20,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) will be set up shortly in Pulmuddai, in an apparent move to cope with a high influx of IDPs to the area.

At present 2,300 IDPs are sheltered at Pulmuddai Sinhala Vidyalaya while 1,700 and 1,632 are housed at Al-Noor Muslim Vidyalaya and the Pulmuddai Hindu Vidyalam, respectively. Meanwhile, the Indian field hospital is to be relocated to another area once hostilities conclude, The News-Lanka learns.

District Secretary of Trincomalee, Ret. Maj. Gen. Ranjith Silva told The News-Lanka, that the government was ready for any eventuality.
"Despite the present security situation, we are sending 30 tonnes of food every other day to the No Fire Zone. The government is ready to face any eventuality," Gen. Ranjith Silva said.

International Committee of the Red Cross Spokesperson, Sarasi Wijeratne said that the ICRC was working hard with relevant authorities in providing basic facilities for the IDPs.
There has been an increase of IDPs over the past few days, bringing the total to over 190,000 in the IDP camps in Vavuniya, Jaffna, Mannar and Trincomalee. So far 17,673 IDPs have been traced and reunited with their families. A census is to be conducted in IDP camps in Vavuniya by the Ministry of Resettlement to further assist the tracing process. Over 170,000 are being sheltered in 23 IDP camps in Vavuniya while another 5,667 are housed in Trinomalee. Another 11,150 and 856 are sheltered in Jaffna and Mannar, respectively.

8:00 AM

147 killed in US air strike

Residents of two villages hit earlier this week by US air strikes have prepared lists with the names of 147 people killed in the attacks.
Farah Province deputy governor Yunus Rasooli told Reuters that residents of the village of Geraani had provided 90 names and residents of neighbouring Ganj Abad village another 57.

The two villages were struck by US warplanes during a battle in another nearby village on Monday and Tuesday.

Source : More

7:54 AM

Tamil civilians injured in LTTE firing

Air Force spokesperson, Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara speaking to defence.lk said 12 Tamil civilians airlifted from Alampil to Anuradhapura base hospital for immediate medical attention.

More Tamil civilians forcibly held hostage by the LTTE terrorists in government declared "No Fire Zone" were able to reach the 59 Division escaping terror grip amidst LTTE's indiscriminate firing upon them. Many civilians reportedly received injuries in this incident and victims in serious condition were airlifted, a senior military official in Mullaittivu said.

One of the victims has succumbed to his injuries while airlifting, Air Force spokesperson added.

7:51 AM

Navy destroys 02 Sea Tiger boats

Continuing it's heavy onslaught on LTTE's desperate attempts to attack
the well fortified Naval cordon in the seas off Vellemullivaikkal
today (9th May 2009) around 0300 hrs SLN destroyed 01 LTTE sea tiger
suicide boat and 01 LTTE attack craft and captured another LTTE
suicide boat with an attack craft, killing 14 sea tiger carders on

Two bodies of sea tiger carders (male and female) were also recovered
and captured craft in the predawn Naval gun battle launched by the
combined Naval forces of Fast Attack Crafts (FAC), Special Boat
Squadron (SBS), and Rapid Action Boat Squadron (RABS ) a cluster of
LTTE sea tiger boats comprising two suicide craft laden with high
explosive and two enemy attack crafts were intercepted and attacked.
Naval troops optimizing their combined fire power completely destroyed
one enemy suicide craft and captured one with two enemy dead bodies on
board, while destroying one enemy attack craft and captured another
which were attempting to flee being unable to withstand the Naval

Monitoring of the LTTE communications has revealed that 14 sea tiger
carders have been killed in the gun battle. Further search and clear
operations are continuing.

7:50 AM

58 Div captures Karayamulliavaikkal earth bund

nfantrymen of 58 Division have gained total control over the entire
earth bund built by the LTTE terrorists in Karayamulliavaikkal by this
afternoon (8 May) following hours-long fighting, latest military
report received from the battlefront said.

According to the defence.lk correspondent in the battlefront, troops
of 6 Gemunu Watch (6 GW), 7 Sinha Regiment (7 SR) and 9 Vijayabahu
Infantry Regiment (9 VIR) have tactically advanced beyond the earth
bund after capturing entire bund. Consolidating operations now
underway to further strength the defence line, military sources said.

Fierce fighting commenced on 6th May lasted for days as terrorists
made their fullest strength to hold the earth bund built to resists
the security forces' offensive march, military sources added. Troops
were able to inflict considerable damages to the enemy in fighting
occurred last two days while capturing part of the earth bund.

In subsequent search operation conducted in the area, troops have
found 35 bodies of LTTE terrorists killed in fighting along with LTTE
military hardware.

33 x T-56 weapons, 2 x Light Machine Guns, 4 x Multi Purpose Machine
Gun, 1 x 12.7 weapon, 3 x I-Com radio sets, 1 x claymore mine, 3 x
T-56 magazines and 2 x detonators area among the items found.

Meanwhile, troops were able to capture an excavator, abandoned by the
LTTE terrorists, which is believed to be used by the terrorists to
build earth bunds.