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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2708

Sri Lanka Navy saves 643 fleeing civilians in 35 boats: LTTE shoots Parents, child; Outraged civilians torch LTTE office

By Ravi Ladduwahetty – Sri Lanka Editor- Asian Tribune

Colombo, 18 March, (Asiantribune.com): Sri Lanka Navy saved the lives of 643 civilians who had been fleeing in 35 boats belonging to fisherman amidst the LTTE’s merciless firing in the wee hours of today.

Sri Lanka Navy Spokesman Capt D.K.P Dassanayake told Asian Tribune that Naval personnel who were on the alert on the Pudumatharan beach swiftly acting on the scene and foiled merciless LTTE motives to kill the fleeing civilians dispersing LTTE carders on board four dinghies.

He also said that the Navy had been able to successfully intercept the LTTE Radio messages and other communications which were sent by Sea Tiger Leader Soosai to four LTTE cadres to shoot at the fleeing civilians but they were saved, thanks to the intervention of the Sri Lanka Navy which arrived at the scene in a cluster of boats and shot at the LTTE boats. The LTTE boats escaped.

In a separate incident, also at the scene, the LTTE attempted to abduct a child among the fleeing civilians and when the parents protested, the Tigers shot both parents and the daughter. The incensed civilians, outraged by this incident, set fire to the LTTE office in Pudumatharan, Capt Dassanayake said. The rescued civilians were brought also by boat to Point Pedro.

The rescued consisted of 419 adults (207 males and 212 females) and 224 children (111 boys and 113 girls). The group had been found on board 35 dinghies, while attempting to flee from the LTTE clutches in the un-cleared areas of Mullaitivu. The rescued had been badly shaken due to the narrow-escape. Speaking with fear stricken anger while attempting to hold back the streaming tears, they described how the LTTE cadres mercilessly started firing at them when they were stealthily fleeing in dinghies huddled together. Despite the LTTE’s gunfire, they had kept on pushing towards the deep seas in order save themselves until the Navy came into their rescue.

Upon rescuing, all were brought ashore at Point Pedro and provided with much-needed food, refreshments and medical assistance. The rescued expressed their heart-felt gratitude to the Navy for coming to their rescue.

The exodus of the innocent Tamil civilians escaping from LTTE clutches is now on the rise. This is largely due to the confidence they have placed in the Government Security Forces whose humanitarian operations have helped Tamil civilians to extricate themselves from the terrorists’ clutches. Despite the risks of being shot at and maimed for deserting the LTTE which is dying a painful but self-destined death, many manage to reach the cleared areas in large numbers in a relatively steady stream. The Tamil populace has now realized the true nature of the ruthless LTTE.

They have seen the futility of shielding a merciless terror outfit which pays little respect even to those who have once given them succor and sustenance. The enlightened Tamil populace no longer wants to be misled by the false promises of a "diabolical liberation".

Sri Lanka Navy has made special arrangements to assist innocent Tamil civilians fleeing from the LTTE clutches. Naval personnel and vessels along with stand-by rescue and medical teams are on special deployment for this humanitarian assistance mission in the North-eastern seas.

- Asian Tribune -

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