Timeline

January 2009

Following a breakdown in talks between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the government of Sri Lanka, Colombo announced it had formally pulled out of a ceasefire agreement on 2 January 2008. A sporadic shadow war had now grown into an all-out military offensive, with Sri Lanka’s military having greatly expanded and garnered international support.

Sri Lankan troops had surged forward and seized large swathes of LTTE territory. In the preceding months, thousands of Tamil civilians have already been killed.

For several months the military has focused its efforts on capturing the key town of Kilinochchi.

JANUARY 1

Sri Lankan Army captures Paranthan

Sri Lankan forces capture Paranthan, a strategic stronghold and the key road junction located on the A9 lifeline between Kilinochchi and Elephant Pass.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

JANUARY 1

5 Killed, 28 wounded in Sri Lankan Air Force attacks on Murasumoaddai

Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) bombers hit a civilian settlement in Murasumoaddai three times killing civilians and causing injuries to many, confirmed reports by medical staff/authorities at Tharmapuram hospital.

Source: 1 | 2

01_01_09_mursumoadd_07_74675_218
JANUARY 2

Offices of Tamil-owned media critical of government attacked

The offices of Maharajah Television stations in Pannipitiya were attacked with five petrol bombs. The Tamil-owned MTV network broadcasts channels in three languages and has been criticized constantly by pro-government groups as being anti-patriotic and against the interests of Sri Lanka. MTV’s Tamil language news is Shakthi, which broadcasts to the North and East of Sri Lanka. Following the attack, police refused to provide the station with additional security.

Source: 1 | 2

JANUARY 2

Sri Lankan Army occupies Kilinochchi town

The Sri Lankan military authorities announced it had captured the LTTE’s Headquarters of Kilinochchi town. Most of the civilian population of Kilinochchi had left prior to the military’s arrival, moving with the LTTE further North-East.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

JANUARY 2

Sri lankan Air Force bombs a petrol station and bus stand close to Mullaitivu hospital

SLAF bombers attacked a petrol station and a bus depot killing four civilians and causing injuries to eight close to Mullaitivu Hospital.

Source: 1 | 2

01_02_09_mullaithivu_04_74765_445
JANUARY 3

Second Bomb Blast in Colombo

For the second day, a bomb blasts in Colombo with two people wounded in the Pertard commercial district, and several vehicles damaged.

Source: 1 | 2

JANUARY 3

Bombardment of LTTE Sea Tiger Base and Mullaitivu by Sri Lankan Air Force

SLAF (fighter helicopters) launched an air strike on the LTTE’s Sea Tiger base while also bombing areas of Mullaitivu. Reports point to the potential use of cluster bombs during these attacks.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3

JANUARY 3

White van abducts Tamil woman in Vavuniya

28 year old Muthusami Renukadevi is abducted from her relatives’ home in Barathipuram in Vavuniya by armed men in a white van.

Source: 1

JANUARY 4

Sri Lankan military flies in foreign and local journalists to Kilinochchi

The Sri Lankan military flew a group of foreign and local journalists into captured Kilinochchi. Journalists reported it being a ‘ghost town’ with infrastructure damage. Journalists also reported that the military did not show them any civilians until the end of their visit, and only then a small group of eight families they alleged had recently returned from Tiger-controlled territory.

Source: 1 | 2

JANUARY 4

13 civilians wounded in SLA artillery barrage

Artillery shelling continues by the Sri Lankan Army and is extended to Murasumoaddai, Pu’liyampokka’nai, Vaddakkachchi and Tharmapuram, east of Paranthan and Ki’ilnochchi. At least 13 civilians are reported injured.

Source: 1

JANUARY 4

18 Tamils arrested in Colombo and Kandy

Sri Lankan police arrest 10 Tamils in Colombo and 8 in Kandy, as search and raid operations continue.

Source: 1

JANUARY 4

TNA accuses Sri Lanka of committing war crimes and genocide

“The Tamil National Alliance releases a statement, condemning the recent massacres of civilians. It goes on to add,
These measures that collectively target the Tamil population cannot be justified under any circumstances. They are not only War Crimes in contravention of the Geneva Conventions but are also a part of a policy of Genocide that the Sri Lankan State has been carrying out against the Tamil people. “

Source: 1 | 2

JANUARY 6

Several Tamils abducted in the East, man shot dead in Vavuniya

“19-year-old Kanthasamy Tharsan and 20-year-old Kanagaratnam Pirabananthan, who suffers from polio, are reportedly abducted by Sri Lanka’s Special Task Force in Batticaloa.
In Amparai, 25-year-old Varnakulasooriya Fernanandos and 25-year-old Saunthararajan Kiritharan are also forcibly disappeared by white vans in separate incidents.
48-year-old Kothandar Jeybalakulasingham, a father of five, is shot dead in Vavuniya.”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3

JANUARY 6

MTV media offices attacked again and destroyed

Four days after petrol bomb attacks on MTV’s media studio in Colombo, a group of at least 20 armed men attacked and destroyed the complex with guns, clubs, grenades and a claymore mine. Security personnel and staff were held at gunpoint while the attackers set fire to the control room, leaving an unexploded grenade inside. Tamil-owned MTV was seen a media company critical of the Sri Lankan government.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

JANUARY 7

SL Government re-proscribes LTTE

The Sri Lankan government has re-proscribed the LTTE as a terrorist organization, one year after it unilaterally withdrew from the ceasefire agreement. The designation was lifted in 2002 as part of the ceasefire agreement.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

JANUARY 7

US issues a statement welcoming Sri Lankan government's victories and recommending against negotiations with the LTTE

“The United States Government issued a statement affirming their support for the Sri Lankan government, welcoming their victories and saying, “[t]he United States does not advocate that the Government of Sri Lanka negotiate with the LTTE, a group designated by America as a Foreign Terrorist Organization since 1997.” It is reported that this was the American signal to Sri Lanka to move forward with the complete annihilation of the LTTE.

A leaked US embassy cable says the ban marks the final end of the already moribund peace process launched by the UNP-led government in 2002.”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

JANUARY 7

UK ministers 'concerned' about impact of conflict

Lord Malloch-Brown and Douglas Alexander issue a statement, saying the UK is “concerned about the humanitarian impact of the conflict and call on all parties to abide by their obligations under International Humanitarian Law, in particular the need to ensure the safety of civilians, to allow their free movement in the Vanni and to enhance access for humanitarian agencies to facilitate the delivery of adequate supplies of humanitarian aid.”

Source: 1 | 2

JANUARY 7

India sends RAW recon air team to Sri Lanka

Following the Sri Lankan government’s capture of Kilinochchi town, India sent a RAW intelligence team by air reportedly to survey the conflict zone. It is unclear as to whether this was by request of the Sri Lankan government.

Source: 1 | 2

JANUARY 7

Sri Lankan Army blocks access for ICRC to Vanni

The International Committee of the Red Cross continues to face difficulty accessing the Vanni conflict zone as the Sri Lankan army continues to shell the road blocking their path.

Source: 1 | 2

JANUARY 8

Tharmapuram Hospital attacked

Shells hit Tharmapuram junction only 75 metres from Tharmapuram hospital killing seven people. 11 month old baby boy, Sasikaran Chudarnilavan, is amongst those killed.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3

JANUARY 8

Artillery shelling in Thevipuram and Vaddakachchi

Artillery shelling in Thevipuram and Vaddakchchi killed at least five civilians and injured 15.

Source: 1 | 2

JANUARY 8

Editor of the Sunday Leader, Lasantha Wickrematunge killed

The Editor of the Sunday Leader, Lasantha Wickrematunge was gunned down by men on motorcycles on his way to work. Lasantha who had been critical of the Sri Lankan government’s war tactics had been attacked on two previous occasion. In his last editorial published three days after his death Lasantha predicted his own murder saying, “

[w]hen finally I am killed, it will be the government that kills me.”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3

JANUARY 8

US Ambassador meets with Rajapaksa

US Ambassador Robert O Blake Jr meets with Sri Lanka’s president Mahinda Rajapaksa in Colombo. Rajapaksa denies any involvement in the mnurder of Lasantha Wickrematunge and claims he has “instructed the military to take the utmost care to avoid civilian casualties”.

Source: 1

JANUARY 8

Sri Lankan Army captures Palai and Sorampattu

Troops of the Sri Lankan Army’s 53 and 55 Division captured the LTTE base at Palai and moved further south taking Sorampattu.

Source: 1 | 2

JANUARY 9

Sri Lankan Army captures Elephant Pass

After intense fighting, the Sri Lanka Army captured Elephant Pass, a strategic stronghold the LTTE held for eight years. This also meant the Sri Lankan army has gained control over the A9.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

JANUARY 9

More Tamils arrested

“The Sri Lankan security forces reportedly arrest 12 Tamil youth in Vadamaraadchi, 5 Tamils in Moneragala and another Tamil man Subramaniam Joseph in Kandy.

Meanwhile 30-year-old Nadarasa Pathmasiri is shot dead in Vavuniya, and 37-year-old K. Sivananthan is shot and wounded in Jaffna.”

Source: 1 | 2

JANUARY 10

Sri Lankan Government urges all citizens to register online

The Ministry of Defence has called on all citizens to register themselves either online or in person. An official for the Media Centre for National Security said, “When every citizen registered it is kind of a census and it is easy for the security forces to carry out random checking.” Already it was reported that Tamils in Colombo were being harassed and intimidated into registering with security forces for months prior to this announcement.

Source: 1 | 2

JANUARY 10

More arrests and shootings of Tamils across island

“50-year-old Thambirasa Raveenthiran is shot dead in Batticaloa and 36-year-old Irulaandy Sivasuntharan is shot dead in Vavuniya.
16-year-old Mariyanayagam Nisanthan from Aanaikkoaddai in Valikaamam is reported missing by his mother.

More Tamils are arrested in Mt Lavinia, Badulla and Bandarawela.”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3

JANUARY 10

'Food situationin Vanni is critical' - TRO

The Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation says convoy routes are “shelled or become impassable due to the monsoon rains” leading to massive shortages and “no buffer stocks… due to restrictions and embargoes”.

Source: 1

JANUARY 11

LTTE and Tamil civilian population withdraws towards Mullaitivu

Following the Sri Lankan army’s capture of Elephant Pass and Kilinochchi town, the LTTE and Tamil civilian population are reportedly withdrawing to Mullaitivu. The Sri Lankan army has announced it is now turning the attention of seven different divisions on this cornered population, 53, 55, 57, 58 and 59 of the Army and 03 and 04 of the Special Task Force.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

JANUARY 11

Sri Lankan army fires artillery shells in vicinity of Puthukkudiyiruppu Hospital

SLA fired artillery shells that killed four displaced civilians, residing in the settlement located behind the hospital of Puthukkudiyiruppu in Mulalaiththeevu district. Meanwhile, artillery barrage on Vaddakkachchi and Pu’liyampokka’nai in Ki’linochchi district continued, disrupting the access roads for civilians to move away from the areas that have come under artillery barrage, which has caused injuries to at least 40 civilians.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

JANUARY 11

Tamils arrested in Palai and Colombo

Six Tamils were arrested in the Katunayake high security zone in Colombo, whilst 9 women, 20 men, and 4 children were arrested in Jaffna.

Source: 1 | 2

JANUARY 12

Puthukkudiyiruppu Hospital attacked again

Artillery shells fell in PTK hospital injuring two patients Monday morning.

Source: 1

JANUARY 12

Deputy British High Commissioner visits Jaffna

Deputy British High Commissioner Mark Gooding visits Jaffna “to review the humanitarian and security situation”. He meets with military and paramilitary leaders.

Source: 1

JANUARY 12

TRO issues urgent appeal to 'cease all bombing'

The Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation says convoy routes are “shelled or become impassable due to the monsoon rains” leading to massive shortages and “no buffer stocks… due to restrictions and embargoes”.

Source: 1

JANUARY 13

PTK Hospital shelled again

For the third day in row, PTK hospital was shelled killing one and wounding six. Patients fled to wards seeking shelter.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3

JANUARY 13

Heavy fighting destroys Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts' remaining hospital facilities as tens of thousands flees further East

Doctors in the conflict zone report that following attacks on Ki’linochchi and Mullaiththeevu districts, there has been a loss of usable, sustainable facilities in the major District Hospitals. Doctors and remaining government staff have fled east with the civilian population, setting up makeshift clinics and hospitals as injuries continue to increase.

Source: 1 | 2

JANUARY 13

More Tamils arrested and missing

16-year-old Nagaraja Nirojanan is reported missing from Thenmaraadchi, 21-year-old Poobalasingam Jay Prasanth is reported missing from Wellawatte in Colombo and Sinnathamby Jaily Atputhanathan is reported missing from Wattala in Colombo. A Tamil woman from Kilinochchi is arrested in Uva Paranagama.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3

JANUARY 13

Religious leaders in Vanni say 'a great huamn tragedy has exploded'

Religious leaders in the Vanni write to the United Nations calling for “immediate action to stop this senseless war”. They say 491,000 Tamil civilians remain trapped in the conflcit zone.

Source: 1

JANUARY 14

13 civilians wounded in SLA shelling

Reports that the Sri Lankan army is firing artillery shells targeting civilians who have been moving from other areas of the Vanni towards Puthukkudiyiruppu, causing injuries to 13 civilians.

Source: 1

JANUARY 14

Army completes Jaffna takeover

The last remaining strip of LTTE-held land on the northern Jaffna peninsula is now in government hands, the Sri Lankan administration reports after the Sri Lankan army captures Chundikulum, the land mass linking Jaffna to the mainland. Several LTTE cadres were captured during the fight over Chundikulum with at least senior ranking cadre reported to have been killed.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

JANUARY 14

Prime Minister Gordon Brown states need for ceasefire

Answering a question from MP Keith Vaz during British Parliament Wednesday, Prime Minister Gordon Brown stated there is a need for a ceasefire in Sri Lanka and that he would be raising the matter with French President Nikolas Sakorzy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3

JANUARY 15

Shelling in Udayarkattu, Visuamadu and Puthukkudiyiruppu

Shelling in a a number of villages along the Paranthan-Mullaitivu road has resulted in multiples injuries and casualties. Reports say that the Sri Lankan army is now advancing from both sides of the small area in the Vanni the LTTE remains in control of and heavy shelling is causing many casualties. The UN reported that six people were injured close to the Assistant Government Agent’s office in PTK, while 40 were injured in the market area in Thodyady Visuvamadu.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

JANUARY 14

"Army 'completes Jaffna takeover'"

The last remaining strip of LTTE-held land on the northern Jaffna peninsula is now in government hands, the Sri Lankan administration reports after the Sri Lankan army captures Chundikulum, the land mass linking Jaffna to the mainland. Several LTTE cadres were captured during the fight over Chundikulum with at least senior ranking cadre reported to have been killed.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

JANUARY 14

Prime Minister Gordon Brown states need for ceasefire

Answering a question from MP Keith Vaz during British Parliament Wednesday, Prime Minister Gordon Brown stated there is a need for a ceasefire in Sri Lanka and that he would be raising the matter with French President Nikolas Sakorzy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3

JANUARY 15

Shelling in Udayarkattu, Visuamadu and Puthukkudiyiruppu

Shelling in a a number of villages along the Paranthan-Mullaitivu road has resulted in multiples injuries and casualties. Reports say that the Sri Lankan army is now advancing from both sides of the small area in the Vanni the LTTE remains in control of and heavy shelling is causing many casualties. The UN reported that six people were injured close to the Assistant Government Agent’s office in PTK, while 40 were injured in the market area in Thodyady Visuvamadu.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

JANUARY 15

Gotabaya accuses Tamil media of 'terrorism', US warns against arrest of MTV station manager

Sri Lanka’s defence secretary claims the editors of a Tamil-language newspaper group that publishes Sudar Oli in Colombo and Uthayan in Jaffna are engaged in “terrorism”. A leaked US embassy cable reveals how the US ambassador also intervened to protect MTV station manager Chevaan Daniel from possible arrest.

Source: 1

JANUARY 15

Massive displacement of civilians' says ICRC

“In a rare public statement, the ICRC says “in the districts of Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi, more and more civilians abandoned their homes and shelters and fled combat areas in December”.

“Unfortunately, there is almost no area left in that part of the country where people can be safe from the ongoing hostilities.”

Source: 1

JANUARY 16

Shelling on remaining LTTE-controlled territory intensifies

The Sri Lankan army is reportedly now using indiscriminate artillery, multi-barrel and mortar fire on the shrinking territory held by the LTTE in Mullaitivu with Puthukkudiyiruppu at its centre. The area is reported to hold 250,000 civilians with casualties increasing. Sri Lankan artillery attacks on overcrowded Kaiveali and Koampaavil, and also on Visuvamadu, from where civilians were fleeing Friday, killed five civilians.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

JANUARY 16

UN Convoy travels to Puthukudiyiruppu

The UN Convoy, which would end up being the last one, travelled to PTK with 58 trucks of food from the World Food Programme, six international staff and five national staff. The Convoy had received permissionf from both the LTTE and the Sri Lankan military.

Source: 1 | 2

JANUARY 16

Sri Lankan military forces launch attacks from the East in Tharmapuram and from the South in Chundikulum

The Sri Lankan military is continuing to attack from both sides of the LTTE-controlled territory. The LTTE reports state that the military is being held at bay, but the military reports heavy casualties to the LTTE.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3

JANUARY 17

Indian Foreign Secretary states support for Sri Lankan government

The Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon met with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse Friday and “reaffirmed India’s cooperation with Sri Lanka in the attempts to eliminate terrorism from Sri Lanka and the region.” He also stated, “that at present the relations between India and Sri Lanka have never been so close, so warm and so deep.”

Source: 1 | 2

JANUARY 17

Several killed in heavy shelling of Visvamadu

As the Sri Lankan military launches a heavy offensive on Visvuvamada and the outskirts of Kilinochchi at least 18 civilians were killed and dozens injured.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3

JANUARY 17

Make-shift hospital in Punnaineeraavi school comes under artillery barrage

Despite medical authorities providing coordinates of the Kilinochchi hospital makeshift clinic at Punnaineeraavi school through the ICRC, the premises came under artillery barrage Saturday. Among civilians fleeing the surrounding area two were killed and six wounded.

Source: 1

JANUARY 17

Abdcutions and murder of Tamils continues

22-year-old Ramachchandran Ravichandran and Kulanthaivel Krishnaraj are shot dead in separate incidents in Moneragala. Another Muslim businessman Mohamed Lebbai Safi Hasan is shot dead in Batticaloa. The TMVP is accused of abducting 30-year-old Seentihamby Subaj from Amparai.

Source: 1

January 18

Assault on Visvuvamadu continues killing several civilians

Heavy shelling in Visuvamadu continued for the second day killing 9 civilians and injuring at least 40.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 18

50,000 soldiers surrounding 1,000 LTTE cadres says army commander

Sri Lanka’s army commander Sarath Fonseka says there are 50,000 soldiers battling against just 1,000 LTTE fights, at a dinner he hosted in Colombo.

“When the war started, I used 50 map sheets to plan it. Now I only need one sheet to plan it,” he boasted. “Soon you will see the final outcome of the war against the LTTE.”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 18

Another Tamil youth shot dead

23-year-old Rasiah Selvarajah of Moopanawela Estate in Moneragala district is shot dead.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 19

Vallipuram hospital attacked

Shells landed in the yard of Vallipuram hospital in the vicinity of a makeshift ward treating outpatients. Six were injured. The Government of Sri Lanka had been made aware of the makeshift ward and specifically the GPS coordinates were provided to General Fonseka, commander of the army, and Major General Jagath Jayasuriya, Security Force commander for the Vanni.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 20

Heavy shelling in villages along A35 Parathan-Mullaitivu Highway between Visvumadu and Puthukudiyirrupu kills at least 18 and injures over 50

Heavy shelling in Visvumadu, Thevipuram, Vallipuram, Suthanthirapuram and near Udayarkattu killed at least 18 people, injuring over 50. The areas along the Paranthan-Mullaitivu road were heavily populated with internally displaced populations moving towards Puthukudiyirrupu. One eyewitness reported to an INGO that his wife and two daughters had been killed in shelling in Visvumadu.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

JANUARY 20

Sri Lankan government declares first No Fire Zone

The offices of Maharajah Television stations in Pannipitiya were attacked with five petrol bombs. The Tamil-owned MTV network broadcasts channels in three languages and has been criticized constantly by pro-government groups as being anti-patriotic and against the interests of Sri Lanka. MTV’s Tamil language news is Shakthi, which broadcasts to the North and East of Sri Lanka. Following the attack, police refused to provide the station with additional security.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 21

Last UN Convoy attempts to leave conflict zone

UN Convoy 11 which had arrived in the conflict zone on January 16 was trapped there for several days due to heavy fighting. On January 21st the convoy attempted to leave, but the LTTE would not allow through its national staff. Ultimately, the convoy left behind all of its national staff alongside two international staff. They moved to the newly declared NFZ and set up a UN hub there.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 21

Vallipuram hospital hit by shells again while facing onslaught of civilian admissions

Shells once again landed outside the Vallipuram make-shift hospital. On the same day at least 11 dead and 25 wounded were brought to the hospital site.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 21

British foreign minister says UK recognises ‘Sri Lanka’s need to root out terrorism’

David Miliband says the UK recognises “the Government of Sri Lanka’s need to root out terrorism”. “The LTTE is a proscribed terrorist organisation with no democratic mandate to represent the Tamil people. It is responsible for a terrorist campaign that has targeted innocent civilians across all communities in Sri Lanka over the past three decades.”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 21

Tamils killed in Jaffna and Trinco

65-year-old R Ratnasingam was found dead in the streets of Jaffna, whilst 26-year-old Anandarajah Suthanthirarajah was killed by unidentified gunmen in Trincomalee

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 21

TNA writes to Obama and Clinton warning of 'genocide fo the Tamil people'

The Tamil National Alliance writes to Obama and Clinton. Extracts of their letter below:
“It is our submission that the Sri Lankan State prosecutes the current war in the manner outlined above in the pursuit of a given ideological position – the assertion of a Sinhala Buddhist supremacy throughout the whole of Sri Lanka, and that in order to achieve that objective a process of Genocide of the Tamil people is in progress…. Consequently, we would like to urge that the policy of the United States of America towards the resolution of the Tamil National Question reflects the existence of two distinct Nations of People inhabiting Sri Lanka and where these two nations are encouraged to associate with one another by pooling their sovereignties to form the State.”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 22

Military says it will not fire into No Fire Zone

Sri Lanka’s army spokesperson Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said, the military will not attack the No Fire Zone. “We will not fire into that area,” he tells reporters.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 22

No Fire Zone is hit - Vallipuram hospital shelled again killing 5 and injuring 22

An eyewitness told Human Rights Watch, shelling occured at around 11:45 a.m. on January 22. He told HRW, “There was heavy shelling, especially where people gathered-near the hospital and where the UN distributed food. People were running around, crying. There was no shelter. Some were trying to hide under trees, like animals… We could hear where the shelling was coming from. It was coming from the other side of the A35 road [from the area where government forces were located]”.
Dr T Varatharajah, one of the few remaining doctors left, tells TamilNet,

“It is shocking that artillery attack has been stepped up on the area announced as attack-free zone by the Sri Lankan military. The casualties today would have been much lower, had the promise been kept or there was no promise at all”.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 22

40 civilians killed and 188 injured around Puthukkudiyirrupu

The US State Department quotes a source in the conflict zone reporting to HRW that, according to Puthukkudiyiruppu hospital staff, 40 civilians were killed and 188 seriously injured by shelling in the villages of Thevipuram, Udayarkattu, and Moonkilaru.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 22

TNA calls for immediate ceasefire and says ‘genocide is in progress’

The Tamil National Alliance releases a statement and “urgently appeals to the international community to prevail upon the Sri Lankan State to bring the war to an immediate end”. It adds, “The Sri Lankan State is prosecuting the current war in pursuit of an ideology, namely the assertion of Sinhala Buddhist supremacist nationalism, and in order to achieve that objective a process of Genocide of the Tamil people is in progress.”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 22

More arrests and disappearances

25-year-old Sivapragasam Sivaroopan is reported missing from Colombo, whilst 27-year-old Selliah Nadarajah was arrested in Bandarawela. Three other Tamils were arrested in Trincomalee and 40-year-old Kasim Bawa Iqbal is shot dead in Pottuvil.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 23

UN sets up bunker and distribution centre in NFZ- near A35 road

The United Nations humanitarian facility in Suthanthirapuram/Udayaarkaadu was set up on 23 January in an open field north of the A35 highway, approximately 700 metres from the hospital. The GPS coordinates of the new United Nations facility were communicated to the security forces on or soon after 23 January. Surveillance drones belonging to the Sri Lankan Armed Forces were witnessed overhead on 23 January. A food distribution centre managed by the Office of the District Secretary, comprised a storage centre and approximately 10 distribution points in a field located adjacent to the United Nations facility. Offices of several humanitarian organizations were also located nearby.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 23

UN hub and Udayaarkaadu hospital shelled , dozens killed

As the United Nations facility was being set up, the area around the United Nations and the hospital came under shelling. At least 23 civilians were reportedly killed when three shells landed in proximity to United Nations workers who were constructing the site, one just 60 metres from the United Nations location. Incoming fire, coming from the direction of SLA positions to the south, included MBRL fire and small arms fire.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 24

Shelling of the No Fire Zone continues overnight and throughout the day

More civilians were killed overnight, as at least 12 shells landed in vicinity of the United Nations hub. Children were among the victims, killed and injured as shrapnel ripped through makeshift shelters that were set up close to the United Nations base.
Shelling continued throughout the day. Despite the shelling, thousands of civilians queued up to receive food rations. People lay on the ground as they heard the incoming fire approaching. Five shells landed in close proximity to the food queues, reportedly killing 20 people and injuring many others.
Between five and 13 people were killed and 27 injured, as shells hit Udayaarkaadu hospital. One of the dead is a nurse who was treating patients at the hospital.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 25

First NFZ and UN hub face more shelling

The UN Panel of Experts reports says “the United Nations hub continued to be pounded with shells….Paradoxically, while PTK was outside the Government-designated NFZ, that area did not seem to have been shelled”.
The Petrie report quotes text messages from staff members detailing how shells landed all around them, coming from Sri Lankan military lines.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 25

UN staff leave NFZ and head back to PTK

UN staff are forced to leave the NFZ due to the intensity of shelling and head back to PTK.
The ICG notes, “in PTK there was comparatively less damage from shell- ing, though PTK hospital was full of wounded and dying civilian patients.”
The OISL says, “As the United Nations staff members left along the A35 highway, they witnessed scenes of devastation: “when we got to the A35 and turned towards PTK, a horrible sight awaited us. There were bodies of civilians everywhere on and beside the road”. Another witness told OISL that “virtually nothing was left standing” in the NFZ””.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 25

More shelling of the No Fire Zone by MBRLs

HRW report nineteen people were killed and 52 were injured as shelling continues to pound the No Fire Zone. TamilNet reports as least 22 people were killed throughout the No Fire Zone.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 25

Army takes over Mullaitivu

The 59th Division take over and occupy Mullaitivu.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 26

As many as 300 killed within 24 hours

HRW that 102 people were killed and 274 people were injured by shelling in Puthukkudiyiruppu and shells hit Udayarkattu Hospital, killing 12 and injuring 40. TamilNet says that as many as 300 peolle are feared to have been killed. In Suthanthirapuram, amidst the deaths, at least two children are permanently disabled.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 26

Health Director lists out supplies of medicines needed

The Regional Director of Health Services (RDHS) for the Mullaitivu district, Dr. T. Varatharajah lists out all the medical supplies needed in the No Fire Zone. He warns that if they do not arrive in the next 24 hours, “many of the injured will die”.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 26

LTTE says Sri Lanka is commiting war crimes by targetting NFZ

Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam (LTTE) Political Head B. Nadesan says the Sri Lankan military is commiting a war crime by targetting the No Fire Zone. He adds “We come to know that the civilians who have fled the war zone and got into the hands of the military are put to untold humiliation and suffering”. “There is no mechanism to guarantee the human dignity of civilians who are caught in the hands of the Sri Lanakn military. The phenomenon is nothing new, but a historical legacy of ages in this island,” Nadesan said.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 26

TNA urges 'immediate end to the massacre'

“There can be little doubt that if immediate steps are not taken to stop the shelling, and emergency medical supplies and medical personnel not sent into the affected areas, there would be many more hundred civilian deaths as a result of lack of treatment,” says the Tamil National Alliance.

“Under these dire circumstances the TNA calls upon the international community to use all its influence with the Sri Lankan State to bring an immediate end to the massacre of these Tamil civilians. The TNA further appeals that the international community intervenes to secure immediate medical supplies and medical personnel to be sent to treat the affected civilians. The TNA reiterates that these steps must be taken within the next 24 hours if the civilian death toll is not to increase to several more hundreds.”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 26

PTK hospital under attack

Between 26th January and 4th February PTK hospital comes under repeated attack. The OISL says “witnesses described multiple rounds falling sequentially on the hospital within a very short period of time, indicating the possible use of MBRLs by SLA… The hospital was overcrowded and many patients were on the floor due to a lack of beds, as well as in hallways and outside, on the ground. Witnesses told investigators that as shells fell, people ran to take cover, including several patients who ran towards bunkers located outside the hospital, carrying their intravenous drips with them.”.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 26

Military denies hitting No Fire Zone again

“We are not targeting this safe zone,” military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara told reporters.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 27

Norway expresses concern over 'increasing' civilian casualties

Norways releases a statement expressing concern, stating,
“We are receiving information that the number of civilian casualties are ever- increasing and that the civilians are caught up in the crossfire between the parties. This is very serious. Both the Government of Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) have a responsibility to protect the civilians and to avoid further civilians getting killed.”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 27

Gotabaya orders ICRC out of Vanni 'within 2 hours' and then backtracks

A leaked US embassy cable reveals that Gotabaya Rajapaksa ordered the ICRC to vacate the Vanni “within two hours” before backtracking after US intervention.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 27

Leaked US cable praises Sri Lankan military for 'discipined campaign... that minimized civilian casualties'

A leaked US embassy cable calls on Assistant Secretary Boucher to tell the Sri Lankan government it “has gained considerable credit until this point for conducting a disciplined military campaign over the past two years that minimized civilian casualties”.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 27

Shelling continues at PTK

The US State Department reports that 16 people were killed and 72 people were injured in Puthukkudiyiruppu, whilst shelling at the hospital continues.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 28

Time is running out' warns ICRC

The ICRC releases a rare public statement, warning that it “high time to take decisive action and stop further bloodshed because time is running out.”
“The violence is preventing the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) from operating in the region,” said Jacques de Maio, ICRC head of operations for South Asia in Geneva.”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 28

Heavy shelling continues around PTK

The US State Department reports says a source in Puthukkudiyiruppu reported to HRW heavy shelling within a kilometer of the Puthukkudiyiruppu Hospital. At least 21 people were killed.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 28

No civilians killed' army tells reporters

Military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara told the media that “There were no civilians killed,” and added: “We are targeting the LTTE. We are not targeting any civilians, so there can’t be any civilians killed.”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 29

Shells continue to hit Tamil civilians

The US State Department reports a source in Puthukkudiyiruppu telling HRW of “hearing very heavy shelling and rifle fire”. Forty-seven civilians were reportedly killed and 176 injured by the shelling. Shelling was also reported in Vallipuram. The OISL also adds “one shell hit the male ward of [PTK] hospital, and two shells fell on the hospital grounds”. TamilNet also reports dozens of deaths from shelling.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 29

Tamil Nadu journalist self immolates in protest

26-year-old K. Muthukumar, a journalist from Tamil Nadu, self immolated in protest against the massacres of Eelam Tamils. His death sparked waves of protests across the state and led to more acts of self immolation in Tamil Nadu and around the globe.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 29

Army captures Visvamadu town

Troops of 58 Division gained control over Visuamadu town.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 29

LTTE denies holding civilians in No Fire Zone

“We have been very clear that any individual who wishes to leave the combat zone has an individual right to move anywhere. We have not imposed any restriction on individuals. But, we will not be organising any ‘organised exodus’ against the collective will of the people who have sought refuge away from a genocidal military,” says Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam (LTTE) Political Head B. Nadesan. “We are urging responsible top officials of the UN and other international agencies to immediately visit the ‘safety zone’ and to obtain the views of the civilians and make independent assessment of the needs and concerns of the civilians.”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 29

ANC condemns "unfolding humanitarian crisis" and calls for ceasefire

“This liberation war between the Tamil Tigers for self determination and the Sri Lankan Government has been going on for well over 27 years and has resulted in the deaths of hundreds and thousands of civilians from both sides of the conflict and much destruction in the country,” says South Africa’s ANC. “The ANC urges all parties in the conflict, both the LTTE and the Sri lankan Government to call a halt, immediately institute a ceasefire and allow humanitarian aid to be brought to civilians caught in the conflict who are in dire need of assistance. The ANC calls on all political players to immediately return to the negotiating table and resume a peaceful process of finding a lasting political solution to the conflict.”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 29

British foreign secretary reiterates call for 'humanitarian ceasefire'

Foreign Secretary David Miliband urges “both parties to agree an immediate humanitarian ceasefire”. “

Humanitarian corridors must now be set up and respected by both sides so that civilians have the opportunity to move away from the conflict area and humanitarian assistance can be safely delivered. Wounded civilians must receive the care they urgently need. The UK will continue to press all parties to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law.”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 29

UN human rights chief deplores deteriorating situation for civilians in Sri Lanka

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said she was deeply concerned by reports of the rapidly deteriorating conditions facing a quarter of a million civilians trapped in the conflict zone and of alleged human rights abuses and a significant number of civilian casualties, as well as the huge displacement.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 29

Rajapaksa assures 'safe passage' to Tamil civilians

Sri Lanka’s president Mahinda Rajapaksa releases a statement. “For all those civilians, I assure a safe passage to a secure environment,” he said. Shells continue to pound the No Fire Zone.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 29

Last remaining international UN staff leave

The last two remaining UN international staff leave the conflict zone for Vavuniya. The UN Panel of Experts report says the LTTE does not allow any of the remaining national staff to leave.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 30

PTK hospital continues to come under fire

The US State Department reports a source telling HRW there is heavy shelling nearby in Puthukkudiyiruppu. Five civilians, including a schoolteacher, were killed, and 27 people were injured.
The UN Panel of Experts reports says the “GPS coordinates of PTK hospital were well known to the SLA, and the hospital was clearly marked with emblems easily visible to UAVs”.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 30

Indian military experts injured

TamilNet reports that at least four Indian “military experts” are receiving treatment at a military hospital in Colombo for injuries. India is reportedly providing military aid and other assisstance to Sri Lanka.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 30

South Africa calls for permanent ceasefire

The South African Government release a statement calling for a permanent ceasefire. “We believe that a lasting and sustainable political solution will be best achieved through broad consultation and peaceful dialogue amongst all the people of Sri Lanka. We therefore urge both parties to return to the negotiating table as soon as possible,” it says.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 30

LTTE calls for international monitored ceasefire

The LTTE once more calls for a ceasefire. Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam (LTTE) Political Head B. Nadesan says “medical staff and the patients at Puthukkudiyiruppu hospital are in a pathetic state due to the artillery barrage by the Sri Lankan forces.”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 31

Not a ceasefire, reiterates government minister

Mahinda Rajapaksa’s 48-hour pledge of “safe passage” was not a ceasefire confirmed Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, as fierce shellign continued.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

January 31

Shelling of No Fire Zone continues

Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) jets were reportedly deployed as bombs continued to fall on the No Fire Zone.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 2009

Thousands of Tamil civilians continue to be killed, as the government continues its offensive in the Vanni. Government declared ‘No Fire Zones’ have been shelled and there are embargoes on food and medicine reaching the conflict affected areas. Though there have been international calls for a ceasefire, the Sri Lankan government continues to ignore them and presses ahead.

February 01

Shelling of PTK hospital

Sri Lankan government said that it was committed to adhering to the zero civilian casualty policy. That same day the security forces stepped up their assault on Puthukkudiyirippu (PTK). PTK hospital was shelled repeatedly on 1 Feb, striking various facilities including a ward with women and children and a church. ICRC staff were present during the attacks and issued a press statement that day stating that the hospital had been shelled and it had over 500 patients, with more injured patients arriving. A press statement issued the following day stated that at least nine people had been killed and 20 injurd by shelling on 1 Feb.

Three attacks. First attack: 1 person injured by shrapnel inside the hospital. Second attack: 1 shell hit the hospital, 1 killed and 4 injured. Third attack: 1 shell hit the woman and children ward (no casualty info).

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Tigers launch counter offensive in PTK

The LTTE reportedly launch an offensive in PTK. “The defensive formations of the Liberation Tigers are courageously facing the Sri Lanka Army, which has been engaged by Colombo in a genocidal war against Tamils,” said S. Puleedevan from LTTE’s Political office.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 02

Continued shelling on PTK hospital

In an interview, Gotabaya Rajapaksa said: If reports are referring to PTK hospital , now there shouldn’t be a PTK hospital or anything because we withdrew that. We got all the patients to Vavuniya…so nothing should exist beyond the no fire zone.

One shell hit the hospital: 7 were killed, including a nurse and 15 injured.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 02

Noithing should exist beyond NFZ' says defence secretary

In an interview, Gotabaya Rajapaksa said:

If they [reports] are referring to the [PTK] hospital, now there shouldn’t be a hospital or anything because we withdrew that. We got all the patients to Vavuniya, out of there. So nothing should exist beyond the No Fire Zone … No hospital should operate in the area, nothing should operate. That is why we clearly gave these No Fire Zones… For the LTTE …to crush the terrorists, there is nothing called unproportionate.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 02

John Kerry expresses concern over humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka

US Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry says he is “greatly concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian situation”. “We urge the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to immediately take all necessary steps to protect civilians and facilitate humanitarian access,” he adds.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 03

Continued shelling on PTK hospital

Staff from international organisations were still present in the first NFZ and continue to send text messages on the situation based on their own direct observations: “Intense shell towards and around us. Hosp theatre shelled 2 victims. 58 people killed and 43 injured at Suthanthirapuram.”

Two attacks- operation ward, staff headquarters and female ward hit. Atleast 2 killed and several injured.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 03

Co-chairs call for temporary ceasefire and LTTE surrender

The Tokyo Co-chairs (Norway, Japan, US and EU) call for a “temporary no-fire period” and call on the LTTE to discuss with the government the “laying down of arms, renunciation of violence; acceptance of the Government of Sri Lanka’s offer of amnesty; and participating as a political party in a process to achieve a just and lasting political solution”.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 03

U.S. Judiciary Committee Chairman calls for immediate ceasefire

“Rather than protecting the Tamil people, the government has often contributed to their suffering,” said U.S. Judiciary Committee Chairman and Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy . “Its strategy has been to cordon off the area and blame everything, including its own violations, on the LTTE.”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 03

US and UK call for halt of attacks on NFZ

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and British Foreign Secretary David Miliband call for “a temporary no-fire period” and an end to attcks in the No Fire Zone.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 03

Denmark "greatly concerned"

Denmark’s Foreign Minister, Per Stig Møller releases the following statement:

“It is imperative that both sides respect international humanitarian laws. The Tamil Tigers (LTTE) should not block the civilians from fleeing the conflict zone. At the same time Sri Lanka government should ensure that the civilians coming from the war zone be treated with respect,” the report further said.

“Both Sri Lanka government and Tamil Tigers are responsible to safeguard the civilians. Denmark has repeatedly stressed that it is necessary to find a political solution to achieve lasting peace and this is the message that we continue to pass.”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 04

Evacuation of PTK as a result of continued shelling

Intense attack on PTK hospital in the morning, killing more patients. Around 300 patients and 18 ICRC staff fled PTK hospital and went to Putumattalan along with the remaining UN national staff and dependants.

After evacuating PTK hospital on 4th Feb, the government medial staff and the ICRC estabished a makeshift facility at the Putumattalan school, which consisted of four classroom buildings and two temporary shelters. The UN national staff and dependants set up near the school. Both organisations provided the government and the military with the GPS coordinated for their locations.

Text message: “PTK hosp being vacated, heavy shelling for about 16 hours we are in trenches.”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 04

Terrorism "almost completely defeated" claims Rajapaksa

Mahinda Rajapaksa in his Sri Lankan Independence Day speech announced that the “cowardly forces of terror” have been “almost completely defeated”. But he said that the country

still faces challenges including “defeating our internal enemies”.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 05

Tamils 'disappeared' in transfer from hospital to IDP camp - leaked US cable

A leaked US embassy cable states: “Ambassador noted disturbing unconfirmed reports that civilians from the north had disappeared during the transfer from the hospital in Vavuniya to the camps in Vavuniya, while several young women were found in the hospital morgue shot between the eyes. Such reports underline the need for international monitoring of the registration and transfer process. Since Vavuniya has the largest number of paramilitary groups operating anywhere in Sri Lanka, it is very important to ensure a continuous UNHCR or other UN presence in the camps to ensure the safety of IDPs in the camps.”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 05

Situation in Sri Lanka is nothing short of shocking' - UK minister

During a debate on Sri Lanka in the British parliament, Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Bill Rammell, says “to put it bluntly, the situation in Sri Lanka is nothing short of shocking”. ” We will do everything in our power to prevent more deaths, but ultimately it is for the Government and people of Sri Lanka to bring this about,” he concludes. Several parliamentarians speak.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 05

Hospitals hit inside the NFZ

HRW reported that Ponnampalam Memorial Hospital was shelled, killing 60 people. Amnesty International reported that 48 people were killed and 174 injured during heavy shelling in Mahtalan, Thevipuram, Suthantirapuram, Moongilaru, Udayarhaddu and Vallipunam.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 05

Ceasefire is 'ridiculous' says Gotabaya and calls for 'unconditional surrender'

“Nothing could be as ridiculous as this,” Gotabaya Rajapaksa, told the Island newspaper when asked about a ceasefire. “Nothing short of unconditional surrender of arms and cadres could bring an end to the offensive,” he said.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 06

Ponnambalam Memorial Hospital bombed

ICG reports as many as 75 people were killed in the attack, as the Sri Lankan Air Force bombed the hospital.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 06

Red Cross office in Colombo stoned by protestors

About 150 protesters demonstrated outside the office of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Colombo, throwing stones at the building. It comes after reports that the organisation had placed an order for 35,000 body bags. “There is no need for 35,000 body bags or for that matter 3,500,” Keheliya Rambukwella, a government spokesman said, shortly after the attack on the ICRC office. “They may cancel the order tomorrow. But first they want to create a fear psychosis in the eyes of the international community,” he said.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 06

Tamil man self immolates in Malaysia

A Tamil man from the island living in Malaysia self immolates in protest against the Sri Lankan military offensive and calling for a permanent ceasefire.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 06

LTTE cadres reportedly fire on fleeing Tamil civilians

The US State Department reports that a group of six LTTE cadres fired on civilians when they tried to cross the front line in Moongkilaaru.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 07

Shelling on PTK area and PMH

Amnesty International reported that ―126 civilians, including 61 patients, were killed and 238 people were fatally injured when shelling was directed on the Puthukkudiyiruppu area. Some shells fell on Ponnampalam Memorial hospital killing the warded patients there. The area was also subjected to aerial bombing.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 08

More shelling of No Fire Zone

TamilNet reports more than 80 civilians have been killed and more than 200 injured in more Sri Lankan shelling of the No Fire Zone. A local source in Mattalan reported to HRW that a shell landed

approximately 10 meters from a hospital, and fragments hit the hospital.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 08

LTTE cadres accused of shooting at fleeing family

The US State Department reports that LTTE cadres shot at a man fleeing with his 7-year-old daughter. It reports that the girl died and her father was injured.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 09

Putumattalan hospital shelling

Around 10pm, one shell struck about 10 metres east of the hospital compound. No casualties, but the compound was damaged by shrapnel.

Text messages from staff of international organisations: 9 Feb 6.51pm “Many shells landed on our ground, we’re in life threat.” 8.03pm “Shelling started again and we narrowly escaped, pls make sure not shelling here.” 10.19pm ” 3 security incidents today. 1st in Pokkanai, aerial bombardments 3 civilians killed 5 injured. 2nd reported from Thevipuram areas 7 killed 12 injured…3rd in Mathalam (our area), 16 killed 49 injured.”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 09

BBC announces suspension of FM programming

The BBC announced that it was suspending its FM programming in Sinhala, Tamil and English from the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) due to “deliberate interference” by the government.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 09

Suicide bomber kills soldiers and civilians at IDP checkpoint

A suicide bomber reportedly killed more than 20 soldiers and at least 8 civilians at a checkpoints for IDPs in the Visuamadu area of Mullaittivu.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 09

The shelling continues

The US State Department reported that the makeshift hospital in Putumattalan was hit by shelling, killing 16 patients. In Pokkanai, three civilians were killed and five injured by aerial bombardments. In Mattalan, shelling killed 16 people and injured 49

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 10

More shelling as patients evacuated from Putumattalam to Trinco

Shelling in Putumattalam kills 16 people, reports HRW.

The ICRC announced that it was evacuating 240 wounded and sick from Putumattalam to Trincomalee Evacuations resumed by ship on 10 February 2009. On each of its journeys, the ICRC evacuated an average of 500 patients and accompanying caregivers. Between 10 February and 30 April 2009, they evacuated more than 13,000 sick and wounded patients and accompanying caregivers.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 10

ICRC 'shocked' at situation in Sri Lanka

“We are shocked that patients are not afforded the protection they are entitled to,” said Paul Castella, head of the ICRC delegation in Colombo. “Once more, we call on both parties to meet their obligation under international humanitarian law to spare at all times the wounded and sick people, medical personnel and medical facilities at all times.”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 10

LTTE denies firing at civilians

LTTE’s Puthukkudiyiruppu Divisional Political Head, C. Ilamparithy denies they have been firing at fleeing civilians.

“Colombo is committing the worst crimes of humanity, by killing and maiming hundreds of civilians every day within the ‘safety zone’, and by indiscriminately bombing medical installations,” he said.

“As pressure is mounting on all fronts, the Colombo government has let lose vicious propaganda.”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 10

Sinhalese protest against the ICRC

The Patriotic National Movement (PNM) holds a protest in front of the British High Commission shouting slogans against the ICRC and demanded the agency to leave Sri Lanka, accusing it for “helping the Tigers.”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 11

UN staff send texts with casualty details

Text messages from international organisation staff: 10.03pm: “According to the hospital, 34 civilians killed and 46 injured by shelling today in two places. In Thevipuram 19 killed, in Vallipunam 15 killed. Totally 15 children killed in both incidents.”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 11

Shelling continues

The US State Derpartment says a source in Mattalan reported to HRW that shelling killed 19 civilians in Thevipuram and 15 civilians in Vallipuram. TamilNet reports cluster bombs were used.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 12

New NFZ declared

The UN Panel of Experts reports says “the United Nations hub continued to be pounded with shells….Paradoxically, while PTK was outside the Government-designated NFZ, that area did not seem to have been shelled”.
The Petrie report quotes text messages from staff members detailing how shells landed all around them, coming from Sri Lankan military lines.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 12

The bombardment continues

The UN Panel of Experts reports says “the United Nations hub continued to be pounded with shells….Paradoxically, while PTK was outside the Government-designated NFZ, that area did not seem to have been shelled”.
The Petrie report quotes text messages from staff members detailing how shells landed all around them, coming from Sri Lankan military lines.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 12

Two burnt bodies found in Vavuniya

The bodies of two Tamil youth were found burnt in Vavuniya. 31-year-old Selvaretnam Sathananthan and 26-year-old Saravanamuthu Sathiyanathan were reported missing from their homes jsut days before.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 12

UK appoints 'special envoy' to Sri Lanka

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown appoints Des Browne as the ‘special envoy’ to Sri Lanka.

“I want him to be involved in seeing whether there is scope for political progress in Sri Lanka as well as looking at the issues of humanitarian aid,” the Prime Minister said.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 12

Sri Lanka rejects UK envoy

Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama warned of “major repercussions” for relations with Britain.

“There is no further discussion with London on the matter.”

“It is tantamount to an intrusion into Sri Lanka’s internal affairs and is disrespectful to the country’s statehood,” the minister told AFP. The LTTE meanwhile had welcomed the move.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 12

Tamil man self immolates at UN in Geneva

26-year-old diaspora Murugathasan Varnakulasingham self immolated in front of the United Nations building in Geneva. Before he doused himself in petrol and set himself alight in the Place des Nations in Geneva, Mr Varnakulasingham wrote a five-page letter.

It read: “We Tamils, displaced and all over the world, loudly raised our problems and asked for help before [the] international community in your own language for three decades.

“But nothing happened… So I decided to sacrifice my life… The flames over my body will be a torch to guide you through the liberation path.”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 13

Casualities pile up, but no medicines available

Doctor, T. Satyamurthy, was a doctor at the makeshift hospital in Putumattalam. He told media that “on Friday (February 13) early 100 civilians were admitted for injuries, They have injuries from shells, burn marks, but we don’t have basic medicine to treat them.”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 14

More bombs drop on civilians

More than 50 civilians were feared killed in Theavipuram. An elders home was reportedly hit in a shell attack. A source in Mattalan reported to HRW an aerial attack close to the Puthukkudiyiruppu Hospital, killing 14. A source in Mattalan reported to HRW that shelling in Thevipuram and Vallipuram killed 36 and injured 84.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 14

Tamil jouranlist killed inside No Fire Zone

Puniyamoorthy Sathiyamoorthy, a well known Tamil journalist, was killed inside the No Fire Zone.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 14

Attempted self immolation in front of Downing Street

A Tamil was arrested outside Downing Street, before he could set himself ablaze.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 15

Shelling in Valayanmadam kills 62 civilians, dozens more killed in NFZ

Shelling in Valayanmadam kills 62 civilians. A source in Mattalan reported to HRW that shelling in Thevipuram and Vallipuram killed 36 and injured 84. Incendiary bombs are reportedly used.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 15

UNHCR was given acces only to Omanthai

A UN report says “despite UN advocacy and repeated Government commitments, from 15 February UNHCR was given access only to Omanthai, and the agency was only allowed to observe the screening from a distance and communicate with IDPs in the presence of a military escort, restricting any confidential dialogue and therefore any effective protection monitoring”.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 15

Lack of antibiotics force doctors to re-amputate patients in Vanni

“If we are not going to receive at least IV antibiotics, anesthetics and surgical consumables in minimum amounts ASAP, we may not be able to provide even emergency first aid to the war wounded,” writes Dr. T. Varatharajan, the Regional Director of Health Services (RDHS) in Mullaitivu, in a letter sent to Colombo “We were in total frustration when we had to re-amputate the limbs at higher levels in days after initial lifesaving amputations, just because of lack of IV penicillin and other antibiotics essential to prevent fatal sepsis.”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 16

Shelling kills 65 people, 34 of which were in the no-fire-zone over the last 24 hours

A source in Mattalan reported to HRW that 65 people were killed and 138 injured by shelling over the last 24 hours. Of these, 34 were killed and 60 injured within the NFZ.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 16

Lack of medicine drives up amputations

The US State Department say sources reported a short supply of medicine and no antibiotics. Conditions that were causing even minor shrapnel wounds are becoming gangrenous and require amputation. There were unconfirmed cases of cholera and malnutrition, particularly affecting children, in the conflict area. The US Embassy in Colombo also reported that the GSL had yet to grant permission to organizations to bring medical supplies by ship to the makeshift hospital in Putumattalan

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 16

RSF accuses Sri Lanka of war crimes

Reporters sans frontières (RSF), expressed “revulsion at the death of Tamil journalist” Puniyamoorthy Sathiyamoorthy inside the No Fire Zone.

“Army air strikes and artillery fire on areas where there are tens of thousands of civilians, including Tamil journalists, are war crimes” the worldwide press freedom organisation said.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 16

LTTE accused of child recruitment

The US State Department claims an organisation reported that the LTTE was attempting to recruit by force all boys and girls aged 14 years or older.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 16

Shelling continues, hundreds feared dead

A source in Mattalan reported to HRW that 65 people were killed and 138 injured by shelling over the last 24 hours. Of these, 34 were killed and 60 injured within the NFZ. TamilNet quotes humanitarian workers as fearing as many as 250 people were killed.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 16

TRO accuses UN of shedding its responsibilities

“The UN for the first time openly acknowledges its agenda of withdrawing even the remaining few local staff from the conflict zone, completely shedding its responsibility of caring for the civilians trapped here,” said Velupillai Sivanadiyar, the president of the Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO), the only NGO working in Vanni.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 16

ICRC evacuates 400 seriously wounded civilians via sea from Vanni

The ICRC evacuated Monday more than 400 seriously wounded civilians in Sri Lanka Army (SLA) artillery barrage from Puthumaaththa’lan in Mullaiththeevu district. This is the third batch of transport through sea of seriously wounded civilians who have been waiting for further treatment at higher hospitals, according to the local staff of the ICRC. The ICRC services in Vanni are carried out by its local staff as the organisation was forced to withdraw its foreign staff from Vanni as Government of Sri Lanka did not provide necessary security guarantees for foreign nationals of the ICRC.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 17

Food water and shelter and medical dressing are scarce in Mattalan

The US Embassy Colombo received information from multiple international organizations operating among the IDPs that water, food, and shelter was scarce, and that the Mattalan school, which was being used as a hospital, had no medicines or dressings.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 17

UNICEF expressed concern for safety of children in the conflict

UNICEF issues a statement expressing grave concern for the safety of children in conflict areas, stating that “we have clear indications that the LTTE has intensified forcible recruitment of civilians and that children as young as 14 years old are now being targeted.” Scores of injured children have been evacuated in the past week,” said UNICEF’s Duamelle. “Children are victims of this conflict by being killed, injured, recruited, displaced, separated and denied their every day needs due to the fighting.” The main injuries to children have been burns, fractures, shrapnel and bullet wounds. UNICEF reiterates the call it has made time and again to Government and the LTTE – civilians, especially children, must be given every protection from the fighting.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 17

Red Cross evacuates wounded

The ICRC evacuated by sea 400 wounded persons, who are now receiving medical treatment in Trincomalee. This brings the total number of medical evacuations by sea to 1145.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 17

'War has to be stopped immediately' - LTTE

“The international agencies and media adopt a faulty diplomatic policy that whenever they want to come out with any criticism of Colombo government, they first attack the LTTE at length and finally come up with their point against the Colombo government,” said LTTE’s Political Head B. Nadesan. “This appeasement doesn’t work well in handling the ongoing crisis and the international community has to come out in no uncertain terms in their indictments and effective action against the Colombo government.”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 17

Sampanthan accuses Sri Lanka of genocide

“This is but a deliberate and systematic genocide of the Tamils,” said Tamil National Alliance leader, R. Sampanthan, in a press conference.

“The government spreads false information that the Liberation Tigers are killing the Tamils flee the war-zone in Vanni while it is the armed forces of the government which are killing the Tamils in Vanni. Why should the Tigers kill the Tamils who have been living with them all these years?”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 17

Further shelling of Putumattalan hospital

Witnesses report shelling of Putumattalan hospital killing patients and further injuring others. The US State Department also quoted a source in Valayanmadam who reported shelling in the NFZ, which killed 48 civilians and injured 37.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 18

Large numbers of casualties' reported, dozens of families killed

An artillery barrage into the No Fire Zone killed at least 108 civilians and causing injuries to more than 200. At 2:00 a.m. the army reportedly fired more than 200 shells, signalling the beginning of more than 10 hours of continuous shelling. The US State Department reports thirty entire families were amongst those killed. Witnesses reported that during the night, at least two patients in Putumattalan hospital were killed when an artillery shell landed near the surgical ward, and six members of a family were killed when a shell landed on their shelter, on the edge of the hospital boundary.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 19

Dozens more killed in Sri Lankan shelling

The US State Department says an organization’s local sources in Valayanmadam reported that SLA shelling in the conflict zone caused the deaths of 46 civilians and fatally injured 126 people. Shells started falling in Puthukkudiyiruppu at 1:00 a.m., killing 24 civilians. At 2:00 a.m. shelling was directed at Iranaipalai, Ananthapuram, and Valayanmadam, killing 10 civilians and injuring 70. Shelling on Pokkanai, which began at 7:00 a.m., caused the deaths of 12 civilians and injured 56.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 19

Shelling in Valayanmadam kills 100 ‘LTTE recruited children’ claims US State Department

The US State Department says an organization’s source in Valayanmadam reported that SLAF aerial attacks killed more than 100  children, and said that they had been “forcibly recruited” by the LTTE.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 19

UN official begins visit to Sri Lanka

UN U/SYG for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Sir John Holmes began a three day visit to Sri Lanka on February 19.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 20

More shelling

The US State Department says an organization’s local sources in Valayanmadam reported that SLA shelling in the conflict zone caused the deaths of 46 civilians and fatally injured 126 people. Shells started falling in Puthukkudiyiruppu at 1:00 a.m., killing 24 civilians. At 2:00 a.m. shelling was directed at Iranaipalai, Ananthapuram, and Valayanmadam, killing 10 civilians and injuring 70. Shelling on Pokkanai, which began at 7:00 a.m., caused the deaths of 12 civilians and injured 56.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 20

Black Tiger aircraft bomb Colombo, 2 killed, 51 wounded

The LTTE launches an air raid in Colombo using two aircraft. Despite being picked up by Indian-provided radars in northern Sri Lanka, and by an infrared camera after the first plane passed the Colombo port area, the Air Force was unable to intercept and shoot down the planes before they reached Colombo. Both planes crash amid anti aircraft fire, killing at least two people.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 20

Sri Lankan army captures Theivapuram

The Sri Lankan military occupies Thevipuram in Mullaittivu.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 21

'Severe, continuous shelling'

The Sri Lanka army launched a heavy artillery barrage throughout the day. Dozens are killed thorughout Mullivaikkal, Pokkanai, and Mattalan as well as Ampalavanpokkanai, Mullivaikkal and Valayanmadam.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 21

Hard to say who is responsible' says UN official

UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes tells a press conference in Colombo, “it is hard to say how many of those killed are civilians and who is responsible for any particular incident”.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 21

Sinhala villagers killed in Amparai

A group of at least 10 villagers are reportedly killed in Amparai. The LTTE denies responsibility.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 22

Shells hit Valayarmadam

Mortar shells from SLA positions were fired in the direction of Valayarmadam. One shell hit the local government base, killing a Government worker. Dozens more are reported to have been killed.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 22

The worst genocide of the 21st century' - LTTE

“The Tamils of Tamil Eelam are facing the worst genocide of the 21st century,” said the Political Head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam (LTTE), B. Nadesan “In this situation, the LTTE is ready to accept the calls for a ceasefire issued by the international community with the good intention of ending the human suffering. The LTTE desires that this effort for a ceasefire to grow further into peace talks to seek a political solution to the ethnic conflict.”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 23

LTTE accused of forced recuritment

The US State Department says that the LTTE continues to forcibly recruit children. A source reported that that a young person who resisted being forcibly recruited had both his arms broken by the LTTE as punishment.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 23

EU calls for 'immediate ceasefire' and says conflict 'cannot be resolved by military means'

The European Union Council passes a resolution on Sri Lanka calling for “calls for an immediate cease-fire thereby providing for the establishment of full and unrestricted access, allowing humanitarian aid to be safely delivered and allowing civilians to leave the conflict area”. “The EU condemns the LTTE’s use of violence and intimidation to prevent civilians from leaving the conflict area,” it adds.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 23

Heavy shelling in Iranaipalai

Three people reportedly died and 27 were injured due to heavy shelling in the Iranaipalai area.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 23

Young girls taken from IDP camps and never returned'

The US State Department says, “an organization’s local sources reported that at night young girls would be taken out from the IDP camps in Vavuniya and never returned. Due to death threats, most of these events were never reported to the camp authorities”.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 24

Shelling continues despite government promises

TamilNet’s correspondent reports the shelling conitnues. A single artillery shell fired around 5:00 a.m. on Tuesday reportedly claimed the lives of 6 civilians, including two teenage boys, near the makeshift hospital at Puthumaaththa’lan.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 24

Heavy fighting in PTK, civilians trapped

Heavy fighting has been reported west of Puthukkudiyiruppu (PTK).

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 24

CID grills Sampanthan

Sri Lanka’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) reportedly interrogated R. Samapanthan, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader in the notorious Colombo ‘Fourth Floor’ interrogation centre.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 24

No one denies that there is a terrorist problem in Sri Lanka' - Miliband

“No one denies that there is a terrorist problem in Sri Lanka,” said British Foreign Secretary David Miliband during a parliamentary debate. “That terrorist problem poses a mortal threat to Sri Lankans in all communities, but the resolution of that terrorist problem cannot be achieved at the expense of the rights of minority communities in Sri Lanka, and that is what we are trying to work on.”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 24

No talks even if Tigers surrender - Sri Lankan prime minister

“The international countries say that the Tigers should lay down their weapons and come to talks but the position of our government is that there is no need to talk to them once they give up their arms,” said Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramasinghe. “The truth is that some are asking us to stop the war in their own interests but there is no need for our government to act so as to fulfill their selfish motives,” he said.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 25

More shelling of PTK

Shelling and air attacks around Puthukkudiyiruppu kill 45 civilians, reports the US State Department

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 26

Tamil newspaper editor arrested in Colombo

N. Vithyatharan, the editor of Sudar Oli, a Colombo-based Tamil daily is reportedly arrested by Sri Lankan security forces. TamilNet reports he was taken away by armed men in both civil and police uniforms whilst attending a funeral at Mahinda Parlour in Galkissa (Mount Lavinia) on Galle Road. The men had allegedly arrived in white vans. RSF called the arrest a “violation of the rule of law”. Uthayan press group chairman M. Saravanapavan said “until we have seen Vithyatharan safe and sound, we will continue to regard this as an abduction”.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 26

No food or medicine'

One of the US embassy in Colombo’s local sources in the NFZ reported that they had no food or medicine.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

February 27

Shelling and starvation claims more lives

Civilian deaths over thee last two days totalled 75 and scores wounded, reports from Vanni said according to TamilNet. The US State Department said an organization’s local source in the Vanni reported that a

hospital in the area announced that 11 patients died due to the food shortage

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 2009

Thousands more have been killed and reports emerge of cluster bomb and chemical weapon use. With hundreds of thousands of civilians being hemmed into a smaller strip of land, causalities are climbing every day. Hospitals have been hit by artillery fire and air strikes. The LTTE has been accused of crimes, including forcible recruitment.

March 01

Sri Lankan police interrogate senior Tamil journalists in Colombo

Senior Tamil journalists were summoned to Colombo for questioning by Sri Lankan police in connection to the arrest of Chudaroli Editor Vithyatharan.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 01

Colombo killed 700 children in 2 months - LTTE Radio

Voice of Tigers, the official radio of the LTTE said 2,018 Tamil civilians have been killed from January to February in Vanni. It added that 700 of the victims were children.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 01

Hunger claims lives in Vanni

The OISL reports that the United Nations Resident Coordinator’s Office indicated that at least 3,000MT was needed per month for between 150,000 and 200,000 people. Food supplies remain scarce, with reports that patients are being admitted to hospital after eating weeds. TamilNet says at least six people have died from starvation in recent days.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 01

Heavy shelling reported

The US State Department says there are reports of “heavy shelling”.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 02

Sri Lankan minister denies heavy weapon use

Sri Lankan minister Mahinda Samarasinghe told BBC Hardtalk, “There is absolutely no justification to use heavy weapons, and, in fact, about ten days ago, the Armed Forces took a conscious decision not to use any heavy weapons”. “As you know, the LTTE is restricted in fact to a very small areas of about 48 sq kilometeres, and we cannot use heavy weapons”.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 02

30 - 50 civilians killed every day' claims TamilNet

TamilNet claims an average of 30 to 50 civilians were being killed in Mullaitivu every day. It added that Sri Lankan shelling had killed 122 people within 3 days. Heavy shelling is reported in this period.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 03

Mattalan hospital in Valayanmadam experiences heavy shelling

US State Department notes that the Mattalan hospital in Valayanmadam experiences shelling. Tamil Net reports that the shelling claimed the lives of 13 Tamil civilians, four of whom were children, including a one year old baby. 56 civilians suffered sustained injuries and two children under the age of 10 were reported missing.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 03

Sri Lankan army searches Jaffna University

The Sri Lankan military launches a search of the University of Jaffna. A student is briefly arrested and then released later that same day.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 03

Woman recovered dead in Batticaloa

Police recover the dead body of Sivakumar Mahathevi, 32, the treasurer of Viveakaananthapuram Women’s Development Society.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 03

Doctors confims at least 13 die from starvation

Dr. T. Varatharajah, the regional director of health services in Mullaitivu, confirms that at leeast 13 people have died from starvation.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 03

Food and aid delivery stalled by government

US Embassy in Colombo states the government is stalling in providing tugboats to provide food aid into the NFZ.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 04

Mattalan hospital in Valayanmadam experiences heavy shelling

US State Department reports that Mattalan hospital in Valayanmadam experiences heavy shelling resulting in the death of an aid worker who was assisting patients

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 04

Dozens killed in NFZ

US Embassy in Colombo reported that 58 people were killed and 143 injured due to shelling in Ampalavakanai and Mullaivakal. Fifteen bodies were brought into the Mattalan hospital. Thirty-nine deaths were reported overall from the NFZ, and 120 people injured. Tamil Net reports that 73 civilians were killed and 15 cluster bombers were fired

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 04

ICRC worker killed in SLA shelling

A staff worker of the ICRC in Vanni was killed Wednesday around 5:00 p.m. while he was returning after sending some of the seriously wounded patients from Maaththa’lan hospital in ICRC ship, reported TamilNet correspondent from Vanni. The victim was identified as Vadivel Vijayakumar, 36.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 04

Emergency extended in Sri Lanka for another month

The Sri Lanka parliament adopted a motion to extend the state of emergency for another month by a majority of 62 votes.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 05

Shelling kills 57 and injures 154 in cluster bombing of Valayanmadam and Mattalan.

HRW reported that 57 civilians were killed and 154 injured by cluster bombs in Valayanmadam and Mattalan.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 05

Office of the Regional Director of Health Services declares the situation in Vanni "a humanitarian catatrophie", due to lack of medicine.

Office of the Regional Director of Health Services declares the situation in Wanni “a humanitarian catatrophie”The statement describes a severe shortage of medicines, including anaesthetic drugs, surgical items, IV fluids, antibiotics and vaccines. It stated that “Due to the nonavailability of materials to construct toilets, open defecation has become common among the majority of the people.” The US State Department reports that the immunization programs had been disrupted for the preceding two months. Vaccine coverage was below 50%.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 05

Food is not being delivered to those in the no-fire-zone

US Embassy in Colombo reported that two weeks ago negitioations were made to send a tugboat of food aid per day (40 megatons), six days per week, to Mullaittivu. In the past two weeks only one tugboat had been authorized to carry food.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 05

SLA cluster bombing kills 57 civilians in Valayanmadam and Mattalan

SLA cluster bombing killed 57 civilians in Valayanmadam and Mattalan. TamilNet reports that shells were fired close to a makeshift-hospital in Mattalan.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 06

Shelling continues in Puthukkudiyiruppu, Manthuvil, Iranaipalai, and Salai

US State department reports that Valayanmadam reported shelling in Puthukkudiyiruppu, Manthuvil, Iranaipalai, and Salai.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 06

Security Council action is urgently needed – Tutu, British academics

Archbishop Desmond Tutu and several leading scholars at British universities have written an open letter to the British government urging it to press for a UN Security Council Resolution authorising a fact-finding mission.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 06

Press Freedom Group calls for unconditional release of Tissanayagam

A number of press freedom groups has called for the release of the Tamil journalist “Tissainayagam”. This includes International Press Freedom Mission, Article 19, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), and Reporters Without Borders (RSF). Theye are “calling for the unconditional release of Tissainayagam, who has been subjected to arbitrary court adjournments and is suffering ill health.” The first anniversary of arrest and imprisonment of Tissanayagam fell on 7th March.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 07

LTTE accused of forcibly recruiting children

The US State Department report says it has evidence that the LTTE are taking children from the ages of 12 to 16 in Mullaitivu.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 07

Two Tamil media correspondents were killed in the NFZ

Tamil Net reports the death of Sasi Mathan and an unnamed media person who were killed in a shelling attack in Vanni. Mathan was 27, he was the Mullaiththeevu District Distribution Manager of Eezhanaatham Daily, this was the only newspaper published in LTTE controlled territory.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 09

Estimate number of civilian deaths between 20 January and 2 March is as much 2,683

On 9 March, estimate numbers of civilian deaths in the Mullaithivu district between 20 January and 2 March numbered close to 2,683, two-thirds of the deaths occurred within the latest 14 km² NFZ.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 09

Diplomats urge UN to take a public stand on casualities

Diplomats who attended the UNCT’s 9 March briefing urged the UN to take a public stand on casualities and leaked briefing material. Their meeting but did not mention the reports of people disappearing from other screening locations to which the UN had no access.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 10

Shelling in Mullaittivu kills 124 people

Shelling in Mullaittivu kills 124 people, 59 of the victims were children. Another report details 130-150 deaths over the last two days. HRW reports that shelling near Mattalan killed over 150 people.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 10

Hillary Clinton expresses concern over Sri Lanka and discusses evacuation with India Foreign Secretary

US Secretary Hillary Clinton expressed concerned over the humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka and Secretary is very concerned about the humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka and “there is a sense that maybe there are things we (the US and India) can do together”.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 11

Sri Lanka did not permit anesthetics enter the no-fire-zone

US Embassy Colombo reported that the GSL did not permit anesthetics to be shipped into the NFZ due to fears that they would be used to aid wounded LTTE cadres instead of civilians.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 11

72 people killed in shelling in the No-Fire-Zone

US Embassy Colombo reported that 72 people were killed and 91injured by continued shelling in the NFZ. A multi barrel rocket launcher sent 40 shells into the NFZ in one barrage. 21 of the 72 deaths were of individuals who were in line to receive their food ration.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 12

US legislators petition Secretary Clintion sighting Sri Lanka as on "Red Alert" for genocide

A group of 38 United States members of Congress sent a joint letter today to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and to the US Ambassador to the United Nations, Dr. Susan Rice, highlighting the humanitarian crisis faced by Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka, and expressing concern over conditions in the internment camps, calling for bringing the issue to the UN Security Council, and encouraging active U.S. leadership to bring about a long-delayed political settlement. Sri Lanka was placed on ‘red alert’ according to genocide rankings.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 12

US Ambassador pressured Defense Secretary to minimise civilian loses

In a meeting the US ambassador put pressure on the Sri Lankan Defense Secretary to minimise civilian casualties. The U.N. reports 2,683 killed and 7,241 injured during the period of January 20-March 7.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 12

Shelling in Mullaittivu kills 32 and 5 in Pokanai

Shelling in Mullaittivu’s NFZ has killed 32 and injuring 43. There is uncertainty as to whether this is a different incident than one reported by another source, which reported 38 killed and 43 injured in the Vanni. HRW that a shell came from the direction of Thevipuram and hit Pokkanai, 400 meters from the Mattalan port, killing five civilians and injuring many more.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 12

Government officals wrote to the OHCHR asking to remove reference to civilian casualities and all war crimes by the government

Sri Lankan Government officals wrote to the OHCHR asking to remove reference to civilian casualities and all war crimes by the government. OHCHR released the statement on 14 Marchwithout substantive changes, listing the COG statistics, describing them as credible, and stating that actions by the Government and LTTE “may constitute international crimes, entailing individual responsibility, including for war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 12

EU Parliament passes resolution calling for a ceasefire

The EU Parliament passed a resolution, with a large majority, calling for immediate ceasefire in Sri Lanka to allow the civilian population to leave the combat zone. They condemning all acts of violence against civilians in the safe zone and expressed serious concern for the plight of the people in the refugee camps run by the Sri Lankan government. The EU Parliament demanded full and unhindered access to international and national humanitarian organisations, as well as journalists to the combat zone and to the refugee camps.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 12

US Senators call for immediate ceasefire and international oversight of detention camps

A bipartisan group of seven senior U.S. Senators wrote to the Foreign Secretary Hilary Clinton calling for an immedia ceasefire. The statement reads; “The situation in Sri Lanka is unacceptable and must be remedied as quickly as possible. We commend your recent statement with UK Foreign Minister David Milliband that called on the government and the LTTE to adhere to a ceasefire, allow access to humanitarian agencies, and resume political discussions to bring the long-standing ethnic conflict to an end. An enduring peace can be achieved only through a political solution that treats the Tamil minority as equal citizens under the law. Without such an agreement, the violence will only continue.”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 13

52 people killed in Mullaittivu

In Mullaittivu shelling killed 52 people. Two other sources verified this number and noted shelling in Pokkanai, Mattalan, and Mullivaikkal.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 13

LTTE prevent civilians from leaving

In Mullaittivu there are reports that the LTTE stopped roughly 1,000 civilians were crossing the lines to the SLA on the land route to Kilinochchi.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 13

Sri Lankan army fires two artillary shells killing a child and seven civilians

Two artillery shells hit Mattalan killing a child and seven other civilians. The shelling was heavier later in the day

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 13

6 arrests issued over the death of a Six-year-old girl in Trincomalee town

A six year old girl was kidnapped and held for randsom. The unidentified men demanded 30 million rupees and when the mother couldn’t pay they killed her. The girl’s body was found Friday morning along Sarathaa Veethi in Trincomalee town in the High Security Zone (HSZ) where there are many police and Sri Lanka Army (SLA) sentry points,

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 13

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navay Pillai expressed concern over war crimes and calls for a cease fire

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a statement expressing her concern for the civilians. She stated: “Certain actions being undertaken by the Sri Lankan military and by the LTTE may constitute violations of international human rights and humanitarian law […] We need to know more about what is going on, but we know enough to be sure that the situation is absolutely desperate. The world today is ever sensitive about such acts that could amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity”. She called for a cease fire to allow for evacuation and urged the government to grant full access to UN and other independent agencies to allow an accurate assessment of the human rights and humanitarian conditions in the conflict zone. She said 2,800 civilians have been killed since Jan 20. TamilNet reports that Jaffna MP, Kajendran, criticised the High Commissioner stating: “Calling for the evacuation of civilians and making them to end up in the hands of their killers, is taking side with one of the parties to the conflict and amounts to another one of the war crimes, perhaps the most serious one of them when comes from a world body of human rights”.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 13

Hillary Clinton puts pressure on Rajapaksa to give humanitarian relief organisations full access

Hillary Clinton spoke to President Rajapaksa over the phone expressing concern over the ‘safe zones’ and urging the President to give international humanitarian relief organizations full access to the conflict area and displaced persons camps, including screening centers. The State department further states that the Sri Lankan government should “put forward a proposal now to engage Tamils […] and to develop power sharing arrangements so that lasting peace and reconciliation can be achieved”.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 14

Mullaitivu hospital closes

Mullaithivu announced that due to drug shortages the hospital in Mathalam hospital will close tomorrow.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 15

62 killed in shelling in Mullaittivu

US State Department reports that shelling in Mullaittivu kills 62. Tamil Net reported that the shelling occured near a makeshift hospital and had killed 69 people.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 15

Reports of birth defects

There are also reports of a 6 month fetUs who had lost both feet inside the womb; following the child’s birth the mother shortly died. Tamil et also notes a pregnant mother delivering dead twins on Thursday.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 15

LTTE plead for the UN to stop the humanitarian crisis.

B. Nadesan, the political head of the LTTE, reported that government was carrying out “genocidal massacres by deliberately targeting civilians, their humanitarian supplies and the hospitals”. He further accused the government of targeting World Food Program’s (WFP) storage for humanitarian supplies in Chuthanthirapuram. He called upon the “international community to send its diplomats to visit the people here in Mullaiththeevu and listen to them”.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 15

Gotabaya accuses Tamil journalist of 'terrorism'

Sri Lanka’s Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse, speaks to dateline. He attacks the coverage and ordering the arrest of Vidyadaran, a Sri Lankan journalist. Who he accuses of terrorism saying “he is involved in recent air attacks and I am telling you if you try to give coverup for that person you have blood in your hands […] I am telling you he is a terrorist. He is responsible for co-ordinating air-attacks in Colombo.”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 16

Allegations of the LTTE forcibly recruiting youth in Mullaittivu

The US State Department states reports allegations that the LTTE were forcibly recruiting youth as young as 14 in Mullaittivu.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 16

Heavy artillery, mortar and multi-barrel rocket attacks on NFZ

Reports in Mullaitivu of heavy artillery, mortar, and multi-barrel rocket-launched shelling in the NFZ. Human Rights Watch detailed that 55 people were admitted into Mattalan hospital, four of whom died. The State Department further reported that a rocket hit Mattalan and Putumattalan hospitals killing two people in each.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 16

Most deaths could have bee avoided had they had essential drugs

In a report entitled “Undue Deaths due to Non-Availability of Essential Drugs at Mullaittivu” it was found that “most hospital deaths could have been prevented if basic infrastructure facilities and essential medicines were made available… We have been supplied with no antibiotics, no anaesthetics and not even a single bottle of IV fluid, leaving us in a desperate situation of not bein able to provide even lifessaving emergency surgery”. The Regional Directors of Health Services of Mullaithivu and Killinochchi reported that “… less than 5 percent of the combined quota of drugs and dressings that are meant for the last quarter of last year and for the first quarter of this year have been sent to us, so far.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 17

Eye witness details Sri Lanka combat aircraft attack killing 20 people

Eyewitnesses in Valayanmadam reported seeing a government aircraft kill 20 people who had gathered to eat breakfast. A second aircraft arrived at 6:45 a.m. The source and his family hid in a bunker when a bomb dropped on them. The witness’s two-year-old son received burns and an eye injury and his four-year old son received injuries to the head and arm. His brother was killed along with the brother’s wife and four children, aged nine, seven, and four-years-old, and 1.5 months. Altogether six people were killed and more than 60 injured. That area was attacked

about eight times that day.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 17

This is custom heading element

US State Department claims LTTE uses arms against civilians “causing many injuries”.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 17

No medical supplies had been sent to the NFZ in recent weeks

Reports that no medical supplies had been sent to the NFZ since February 20 which only included bandages and other basic supplies. It did not include anesthesia or other medicien and supplies ran out within two days. This comes despite Government assertion otherwise.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 17

2 Muslim civilians abducted in Puththa'lam

Two Muslim civilians were abducted in Munthal and Kadayamootai in Puththalam by men in army uniform. Fifty-four year old S.M.Jamal was abducted into a white van from his residence in Munthal. Twenty four year old Farook Shan was abducted by army clad men in a white van from his shop at Kadayamootai.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 17

Ban Ki Moon expresses concern over civilians

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon contacted Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to express concern about civilians trapped in the conflict area.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 18

US Ambassador presses SL Foreign Minister to allow in supplies

US Ambassador, Banki Moon, pressed Foreign Minister to allow in medical supplies and to stop shelling near civilian concentrations.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon contacted Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on March 17 to express concern about civilians trapped in the conflict area.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 18

Colombo Embassy recieves report that the Sri Lankan Air Force bombed targets within the safe zone.

Colombo Embassy recieves report that the Sri Lankan Air Force bombed targets within the safe zone.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 18

3,000 civilians died with reports of thousands more

UN’s Crisis Operations Group had verified nearly three thousand 72 individual civilian deaths, with reports of thousands more, mostly from Government shelling.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 18

Sri Lanka Minister thanks Indian government in fight against LTTE

Nimal Sripala de Silva, a cabinet minister in Sri Lanka parliament, said that India’s great assistance helped Sri Lanka Army (SLA) to defeat the Liberation Tigers and that the people of Sri Lanka should be grateful to India,

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 19

Cluster bombs injures 60 in Pokkani

A witness reported that cluster bombing injured 60 in Pokkani

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 19

36 people reportedly killed by LTTE

A US State Department source in Valayanmadam reported that the LTTE killed 36 people.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 20

Mattalan shelling hits near a church and kills 5, 7 injured

A Human Rights Watch source reported shelling in a heavily populated area in Putumattalan and near a makeshift hospital in the area as well as a church in Valayanmadam, killing five people and injuring nine. There were further reports that seven people were admitted to the Mattalan hospital. One source was critically injured.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 20

LTTE urges China to consider Tamils plight at UN

Political Head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam (LTTE), B. Nadesan, on Friday urged Chinese government to allow Tamils plight to be discussed at the UN Security Council for a second time. “The Sri Lankan state is not only denying the Tamil sovereignty, but it is waging a genocidal war against them of catastrophic dimensions,” said Mr. Nadesan adding that Colombo was engaged in a propaganda campaign saying that the conflict is an internal matter.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 21

Ambassador Rice supports UN Council briefing on Sri Lanka

Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative, told the UN Security Council “The United States feels strongly about and concerned about Sri Lanka and we support the provision of it to the Council- a full and updated information on the humanitarian situation”.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 22

Shelling in NFZ Putumattalan kills two children

Shelling in the NFZ at Putumattalan killed two young children.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 22

Civilians trying to flee 'beaten'

A HRW source in the Vanni reported that hundreds of people trying to escape were arrested by ‘local dictators’ and beaten with sticks and poles.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 23

No medicines or vegetables were available in Valayanmadam even on the black market

US State Department reports that in Valayanmadam there is no medicines or vegetables were available, even on the black market.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 23

LTTE recruit children as young as 12 killing those who resisted orders

US state department reports LTTE recruiting as young as 12 and killing those who resisted orders

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 23

Sri Lankan government continue shelling makeshift hospital in Putumattalan

HRW reacived witness statements from a makeshift hospital in Putumattalan. The source said the hospital recieving 14 corpses and 98 wounded persons that day. He told HRW that the shelling appeared to come from the direction of government positions three kilometers to the west.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 23

Sri Lankan media outlets vilinise NGOs and human rights organisatons who are being harrassed and intimidated

OHCHR released a press statement on the threats, harassment and intimidation and noting that in Sri Lanka itself, domestic media outlets had since January been running a continuous campaign of vilification against NGO activists, accusing them of treason and association with terrorism.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 23

LTTE prevent people from leaving

There are reports that the LTTE continued to prohibit civilians from departing the NFZ. Rumors were circulating that the LTTE damaged boats along the shore to prevent people from escaping.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 23

Clinton speaks of 'post-conflict political solution'

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton writes to US Congress members, saying, “We continue to urge the Sri Lankan government to devise a post-conflict political solution that will demonstrate to Sri Lanka’s Tamil population and the Tamil Diaspora that the government is serious about political inclusion. We have called on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to allow civilians freedom of movement and to discuss modalities for ending hostilities.”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 24

Hospitals came under fire killing a 6 year old boy

OISL reports detail attacks on Puttalam hospital killing at least threee including a woman and an RPG hitting a civilian bus in the vicinity of the United Nations hub, killing one six-year-old boy. The State Department report shelling near Mattalan hospital killing a child.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 25

Jaffna University lecturer abducted in Colombo

Selvarajah Raveendran, a lecturer of the Geography Department of the Arts Faculty of Jaffna and brother of Jaffna District Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian Selvarajah Kajendran has been abducted by armed persons inside the high security area in Madiwela in Colombo

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 25

Shelling continues near Mattalan where hundreds of people are encamped

An HRW source near Mattalan reported shelling near where hundreds of people were encamped.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 25

Shelling of Hindu temple in Pokkanai.

A witness who escaped the NFZ reported to HRW that a multibarrel attack occurred very close to the Hindu temple in Pokkanai. About 20

rockets had struck the area. Several tents had burned down. Over 75 people were injured. The hospital reported 10 civilians killed, but usually not all dead bodies are taken to the hospital.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 26

38 dead in Valayanmadam

US State Department reports in Valayanmadam there was a record of 38 deaths as of noon.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 26

TNA MP calls for Immediate ceasefire and humanitarian access in Vanni

S. Jeyananthamoorthy, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian from Batticaloa district called for an immediate ceasefire and unhindered humanitarian access to the suffering people of Vanni.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 27

Shelling Putumattalan kills a child and injures another

Shelling in the NFZ at Putumattalan kills one child and injured another

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 27

Jesse Jackson calls for ceasefire

Veteran American civil rights campaigner Reverend Jesse Jackson, who addressed the diaspora Tamil conference in London calls for ceasefire

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 28

51 people killed, including family of five.

The US State Department says an organization’s source in Valayanmadam reported heavy shelling very close to this area of the NFZ. Fifty-one people died, including an entire family of five.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

29 March

Shell attacks continue

Artillery, mortar and long-distance gunfire throughout Sunday killikelledng at least 53 civilians and caused injuries to around 119, reports TamilNet

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

30 March

More than 50 LTTE cadres killed

“At least 26 LTTE cadres and a Sri Lankan sailor were reportedly killed when navy vessels confronted a group of LTTE boats off the coast of Mullaitivu, a navy spokesman said.

In a separate land battle, the military said at least 29 Tigers were killed.

30 March

Sri Lankan air force drops bombs in NFZ

The US Starte Department says an organization’s local sources reported aerial bombing in the NFZ with jets dropping four to five bombs at a time on three separate occasions. At least 88 people are reported to have been killed.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

30 March

TRO director highlights several deaths in NFZ

Lawrence Christy, Planning Director, TRO releases a report highlighting several deaths inside the No Fire Zone. It includes n emergnecy caesarean section where the “baby was born dead with a shell shrapnel inside its stomach”.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 31

A racist war on all Tamils - Arundhati Roy

“So while the killing continues, while tens of thousands of people are being barricaded into concentration camps, while more than 200,000 face starvation, and a genocide waits to happen, there is dead silence from [India],” says Arundhati Roy.

“It’s a colossal humanitarian tragedy. The world must step in. Now. Before it’s too late.”

March 31

Cluster bombs fired

Cluster bombs are reportedly fired at civilians, killing at least 45 people

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

March 31

Soldiers ' fired on civilians fleeing the NFZ'

The US embassy in Colombo received reports from SLA soldiers and officers on leave from the front line that SLA soldiers had fired at escaping civilians.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

April 2009

The shelling of the No Fire Zones has become relentless, with bodies reportedly littered around the area as Sri Lankan troops advance. There are reports of chemical weapon and cluster munition use. Civilian areas, including hospitals, have been bombarded.

April 01

Solheim speaks with the LTTE

Erik Solheim, the Norwegian minister for international development, speaks with with B. Nadesan, the head of the political wing of the LTTE.

“Our political head categorically told Mr. Solheim that a serious responsibility rests on the International Community to put an immediate stop to the attacks on the Tamil civilians,” said the LTTE.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

April 02

Miliband calls for ceasefire

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband renewed his call for an “urgent humanitarian ceasefire” to “allow the remaining civilians to leave the conflict area” and sought unhindered access for humanitarian agencies to the civilians displaced by the fighting.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

April 03

Shelling claims more lives

Shelling kills 90 civililans within 3 days, reports TamilNet

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

April 04

Pregnant women killed by shells

At least 12 pregnant wiomen were killed in March alone from shelling, reports the Mullaiththeevu Regional Director of Health Services (RDHS)

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

April 04

Mullaitivu wounded die due to lack of antibiotics

Regional Medical Services Divisions (RMSD) for Mullaiththeevu and Kilinochchi received only 5% of the total allocation of monthly needs of medical supplies for the first three months in 2009. One death a day is reported due to depletion of blood transfusions, several die due to lack of antibiotics.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

April 04

Another air strike by Sri Lanka

The US State Department said a foreign government received a witness report of an air strike on Valayanmadam, which injured the witness and her uncle and killed her aunt.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

April 05

Army launches invasion of No Fire Zone

“A spokesman for the [SL]military said operations against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had commenced within the zone. “The only uncleared area left is the no-fire zone,” military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said. Security forces said they had found the bodies of 250 fighters when they overran the village of Puthukkudiriruppu, a former Tiger stronghold. “We have recovered over 420 bodies over the last three days.”

April 05

Major battlee in PTK, several senior Tigers killed

Several senior LTTE leaders, including Theepan, Vidhusha, Kamalini, Thurga and others are killed as the Sri Lankan military boxes off LTTE fighters. Hundreds of cadres are reportedly killed.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

April 05

71 civilians killed, 143 wounded as attacks in No Fore Zone intensify

Several dozen civilians are killed as shelling intensifies. “”Death in most brutal form has become common within the Safety Zone,” says a medical staff member. “The area littered with mangled bodies, torn limbs, and blood soaked soil appears more horrific than what one finds inside a butchers shop.”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

April 06

More shelling of civilians

The US State Department says a source reported to HRW that at noon. while the source was having lunch with his family in a tent in Pokkanai, one shell struck 10 meters away. Seven people were injured and two died. The witness sustained a minor injury and his 19-year-old son was killed.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

April 06

Senior UN human rights official Walter Kaelin states more than 100,000 civilians are trapped in the conflict zone

“A senior UN human rights official [Walter Kaelin] warned of a bloodbath unless tens of thousands of civilians are allowed to leave the war zone.”

April 07

Sri Lankan government rejected UN call for ceasefire

“It is not going to end soon,” said Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara, as Sri Lanka once more rejected calls for a ceasefire.

April 07

HRW reported that several areas in the NFZ were subjected to heavy shelling, resulting in numerous civilian casualties.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

April 07

Sri Lanka is using chemical weapons, says LTTE

Lawrence, a senior commander of the LTTE, who survived the earlier battle at PTK said the Sri Lankan military was using chemical weapons in its offensive.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

April 07

Killed whilst lining up for milk powder

A large group of women, children and other civilians who had lined up to receive a distribution of milk powder near Ampalavanpokkanai in the second NFZ are shelled. Hundreds were killed or injured. The security forces’ aerial surveillance vehicles were flying over the location before the attack, and the time and location of the distribution had been communicated to them.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

April 08

Instructed to cross lagoon and then shelled

The US State Department says, “according to an organization, IDPs who escaped the NFZ said that the SLA broadcast an announcement over speakers instructing residents to come across the lagoon into the government-controlled area immediately, as the SLA was going to advance into the NFZ. Soon afterwards, the government forces fired a large shell into the midst of these IDPs, causing heavy casualties.”

Heavy shelling is reeported in the NFZ. A source contacted the BBC and said that the intensity of shell fire had increased in the last 24 hours.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

April 09

Red Cross evacuates 230

“On April 9 the International Committee of the Red Cross evacuated 230 injured civilians plus their relatives by ferry from Putumattalan.”

April 09

ICRC team leader killed in Vanni

47-year-old Sinnathurai Kugathasan, one of the three Team Leaders of the ICRC in Vanni, is killed by hselling inside the No Fire Zone.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

April 09

Jaffna university lecturer freed

Selvarajah Raveendran, a lecturer of Jaffna University and the brother of Jaffna District TNA MP S. Kajendran was released Wednesday night around 9:30 p.m. at Wellawatte in Colombo,

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

April 10

UN Security Council Action Needed to Avert Humanitarian Catastrophe - HRW

Human Rights Watch called upon the United Nations Security Council to take urgent measures, including by sending a special envoy to Sri Lanka, to bring an end to violations of international humanitarian law by government forces and the LTTE.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

April 10

Canada calls for immediate ceasefire

“We’ve asked [the United Nations] for an immediate ceasefire. We’re very worried, of course, of the hostilities that are taking place but particularly worried for the civilians that are in the combat zone [in Vanni],” said Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

April 11

`69 percent kids malnourished: Vanni health officials`

69 percent of children in the Vanni are malnourished, said health officials of Mullaitivu working in the No Fire Zone

Source: 1

April 11

No post-LTTE scenario says Nadesan

Head of Liberation Tigers Political section, B. Nadesan says “”[t]here will not be a post-LTTE scenario”. “We urge the international community not to go along with Sri Lanka’s uprooting of Tamils, being carried out in the guise of “fighting terrorism”. We appeal to the international community to halt this war immediately and facilitate a negotiation for a permanent political settlement based on the Tamils’ right to self-determination,”

Source: 1

April 11

Heavy rains and shells cause carnage in No Fire Zone

Heavy rain has flooded bunkers, worsening the crisis in the Vanni as dozens die from shelling.

Source: 1

April 12

Sri Lanka announced '48 hour ceasefire'

The Sri Lankan government announced it was going to restrict military operations for 48 hours on 13 and 14 April. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon welcomed the Sri Lanka

government’s decision, noting, “This is less than the full humanitarian pause of several days I had pressed for but is nevertheless a useful first step and an opportunity to move towards the peaceful and orderly end to the fighting now so badly needed.”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

April 12

TNA says Tamils 'are clearly being subjected to genocide'

.The Tamil National Alliance says in a press release,

“The Tamil people in the island of Sri Lanka are clearly being subjected to Genocide.

It is in these dire circumstances of an accelerated Genocide by unprecedented levels of Tamil civilian killings and the imminent extermination of those within the “safe zone”, that the TNA appeals to India and the rest of the international community to: –

Compel the Sri Lankan Government to stop all military operation immediately”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

April 12

Shells do not spare the womb

TamilNet reports that a pregnant woman who had her abdomen torn open in shelling has been admitted to hospital. The limb of her unborn baby had protruded out through her wound. It is not known whether she or her pregancy survived.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

April 12

Dozens killed despite 'ceasefire'

The US State Department quotes a source in Valayanmadam as reporting shelling and RPG attacks as the SLA advanced, coming within 200 meters of the people. TamilNet reports at least 31 people were killed.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

April 13

Shells, gunfire and air attacks reported in Valayanmadam

Shells, gunfire and air attacks reported in Valayanmadam, reports the US State Department. At least 23 civilians within the last 12 hours from 8:30 p.m. Sunday to 8:00 a.m. Monday, according to TamilNet’s correspondent

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

April 13

LTTE calls for permanent ceasefire

The LTTE says it has “long been requesting a permanent ceasefire encompassing sensible military and political essence” “As a result of Sri Lanka’s embargo on food and medicine, the suffering of our people is unfathomable. To make matters worse, the floods caused by the recent summer-rain, flowing over the drinking-wells, have contaminated them, causing an acute shortage of drinking water in the region… With people getting killed and wounded daily at the hands of the Sri Lanka military, the casualty figure has now climbed to 300 per day.”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

April 14

Shelling starts before temporary ceasefire ends

TamilNet reports continued gunfire and RPG fire despite a temporary ceasefire in place. The US State Department reports shelling begins at 9.00pm, before the end of the declared 48-hour ceasefire by the Sri Lankan government.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

April 15

Shelling and gunfire continues

TamilNet’s correspondent reports more artillery shelling as well as machine gun fire into the No Fire Zone. “It is impossible to assess casualty details, but at least 180 civilians are feared killed within 3 hours,” the corresspondent adds.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

April 15

Children die from malnutrition and illness

Several children are reported to have died due to a lack of food and medicine. Amongst them are 2-month-old baby girl Sakeela and 2-year-old girl Sivagnanamoorthy Prasitha. Pictures 1 and 2.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

April 16

Norway reiterates 'long-standing friendship with Sri Lanka'

Norway releases the following statement:

“Norway has a long-standing friendship with Sri Lanka, and all our efforts have been to work for peace within a united Sri Lanka. All attention must now be directed towards the precarious situation for the civilians trapped in the conflict zone, and to end the fighting without further bloodshed.”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

April 16

British MPs call for UN Security Council resolution on Sri Lanka

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils (APPG-T) releases a statement saying,

“However we now urge our government to take this very serious issue to the UN Security Council to pass a Resolution that will cover the following:

An immediate, permanent, internationally monitored ceasefire

Unfettered access by international humanitarian organisations and the UN

An unimpeded flow of humanitarian relief, especially adequate food and medicine, to the civilians in the conflict zone

Full and immediate access to the ‘safe zone’ for the international media.”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

April 16

UNSYG Chief of Staff Vijay Nambiar visits Sri Lanka and meets with Rajapaksas

UNSYG Chief of Staff Vijay Nambiar embarks on a two-day visit to the island. He meets with senior government officials.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

April 16

Malnutrition and bombs plague the No Fire Zone

Shelling of the No Fire Zone continues, with TamilNet reporting that Sri Lankan helicopter gunships are providing extra fire. More than 57 are reported killed and 300 wounded. Malnourishment is widespread.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

April 16

Rajapaksas celebrate in Kilinochchi

Sri Lanka’s president Mahidna Rajapaksa and defence secretary Gotabaya visit Kilinochchi and share a feast with Sri Lankan troops, as they celebrate its capture. He is the first Sri Lankan president to visit Kilinochchi in nearly three decades.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

April 16

US calls for 'return to a humanitarian pause' and 'power sharing arrangements'

The US releases a statement saying,

“Both sides must immediately return to a humanitarian pause and both must respect the right of free movement of those civilian men, women and children trapped by the fighting… A durable and lasting peace will only be achieved through a political solution that addresses the legitimate aspirations of all Sri Lankan communities… We urge the Sri Lankan government to employ diplomacy to permit a peaceful outcome of this conflict. We call on the Sri Lankan government to put forward a proposal now to engage Tamils who do not espouse violence or terrorism, and to develop power sharing arrangements so that lasting peace and reconciliation can be achieved.”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

April 17

Only 5% of medical supplies are in conflict zone

The US State Dept says “Organizations estimated that only 5% of needed supplies were being received, and avoidable deaths were occurring as a result”. The Ministry of Defense imposed a strict ban on anesthetics entering the LTTE-controlled area. Sri Lanka Ministry of Health supported the ban, saying ―”They do not need medicines inside the zone, as you evacuate the wounded”.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

April 17

India asks for extension of 'pause' in hostilities

India releases a statement saying,

“India is deeply concerned about the humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka. The continuing conflict has taken a heavy toll on Tamil civilians and internally displaced persons caught in the cross fire. The Government of India has repeatedly expressed its concern for their security and sought to ensure safe passage to secure zones for the civilian population.

While it is incumbent on the LTTE to release all civilians and IDPs under their control, the Government of Sri Lanka cannot be oblivious to the evolving human tragedy and the fate of the Tamil civilian population caught up in the so-called No Fire Zone. There is no reason not to continue with the pause in military actions in the NFZ.”

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

April 17

ICRC evacuates hundreds of wounded but many more still waiting

The ICRC reported that it evacuated 462 wounded. More than 400 additional wounded are waiting to be evacuated.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

April 18

TNA appeals to India

The TNA tells India,

“the fact that the Sri Lankan State and its Armed forces despite the widest possible international outcry that the safety of Tamil Civlians is paramount, have not been deterred even to the slightest degree, in the pursuit of their military attacks in Tamil Civilian populated areas, without any regard whatever, for the safety of Tamil Civilians is indicative of the deep hostility that the Sri Lankan State and its Armed forces bear towards the Tamil people. The Sri Lankan State’s actions establish beyond a shadow of doubt, that the real intention of the Sri Lankan State is the progressive extermination of the Tamil people”.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

April 18

Sri Lanka deports British journalist

The Sri Lankan immigration officer’s eyes narrowed as she swiped my passport at the international airport in Colombo last week. “Come this way,” she said, leading me into a side room, where a colleague typed my details into a computer.

A message flashed up on his screen: “DO NOT ALLOW TO ENTER THE COUNTRY.” With that, my passport was confiscated, I was escorted to a detention room, locked up for the night, and deported the next day. I can’t say that I was surprised, though it was my first deportation in 12 years of reporting from China, the former Soviet Union and South Asia.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

April 18

Sri Lanka rejects UN appeal for ceasefire

“I told him (Mr Nambiar) that we cannot extend our decision to restrict offensive military operations because there was no result during the previous halt in the fighting,” the Sri Lankan defence secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapakse, said in an interview with the BBC. Though he denied firing in the No Fire Zone, he added, “However, if the rebel leader, Prabhakaran, is seen then we will take him out, even if it is inside the safe zone”. “But we will take all measures to avoid civilian casualties,” he said.

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

April 18

LTTE says Nambiar must be allowed to visit conflict zone