Date: Wed, 2 Apr 97 13:48:14 CST
From: Arm The Spirit <> Subject: News From Tamil Eelam - 28.03.1997

Following Press Release is sent for distribution through TamilNet <>, by the LTTE international secretariat, 211 Katherine Road, London E6 1BU, United Kingdom, Tel/fax: 0181-470 8593.

Date: 28.03.1997

LTTE Headquarters,
Tamil Eelam.
28 March 1997

Cancer hospital to become a detention center

Press release from Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
28 March, 1997

The cancer hospital in Tellipallai - built at considerable expense from foreign funds - is being renovated to become the major detention centre for the north. Military officials have submitted proposals to the government to convert the hospital complex into a high-security site for interrogation and detention of Tamils. There are even plans to devise a special room for carrying out more novel forms of interrogation, basically torture. Already every army camp in the northeast routinely carries out torture of Tamils. Concrete bunkers and barbed wire fences have been put in place around the hospital's outer boundary. The premises have been designated a maximum security zone. The public may not use the road running alongside the emerging 'prison'. The plan to dismantle the cancer hospital in favour of a detention centre is a poignant reminder of the true character of this Sinhala government's invasion of the northeast, where Tamils' lives and dignity are being eroded by the hour.


Cordon and search operations by Sri Lankan forces are occurring once a day in Trincomallee, in the island's east. The procedure is the same as anywhere else occupied by the Sinhala military. Tamils are marched to open fields and hand-picked for arrest by masked 'informers'. The Sinhala armed forces have no regard for the terror these exercises induce in the Tamil population, especially among young children. Those taken away are often not seen again.

Sinhalese and Muslims are not included in these round-up operations. Not widely known is that Tamils there are required by law to hang on their front door the name of the householder so that soldiers can identify them as Tamils. The Tamil population of Trincomallee had a brief respite during the recent local elections when many soldiers left for election duty in the south, but now the soldiers are back and engaging more vigorously in round-ups.


Tamils wishing to travel across the Vavuniya-Mannar highway - which was occupied by the Sri Lankan army during operation 'Edibala' - have to fill in an application form explaining to Sinhala military officials their reasons for travelling. The Tamils must make seven copies of this form which has to be sent to a whole network of other officials. The final say belongs to the assistant superintendent of police who deems whether the travel is necessary. After he has perused their forms, this man calls prospective travellers to his office where they are questioned further.

This practice is yet another violation of the civil liberties of Tamils in Sri Lanka. The practice is proving to be headache to all Tamils wanting to make the simple Vavuniya-Mannar journey.


Two women held by military officials in one of Vavuniya's notorious detention centres have been shot by Sri Lankan soldiers. Mary Stella (29) and Lakshmi (27) are both badly injured. Doctors at Vavuniya hospital are particularly concerned about Lakshmi's condition. The reason for the shooting is not yet known. They were inmates of Poomthoddam detention centre (Vavuniya).


Tamil Day contests took place recently celebrating the national culture of Tamil Eelam. Traditional songs, speech and drama took pride of place. The events were preceded by the raising of the Tamil Eelam national flag by Saveri, head of the Mannar students' federation. The traditional oil lamp was lit by education officer for Pooneryn, N. Yogendranathan.


The two Tamil boys gunned down by Sri Lankan soldiers in Kaluvankerni (Batticaloa) have been identified. They are Kulanthaivel Sanmugam and Sanmugam Thavarasa. The boys were stopped in the street by an army patrol and made to carry the soldiers' gear for a distance. When the soldiers became bored of this game they started to beat the boys with their rifle butts, then shot them dead.

Political Committee,
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam

(English translation of the LTTE statement released by LTTE International Secretariat, 211 Katherine Road, London E6 1BU, United Kingdom. Tel:0181- 503 4294 / Fax: 0181-470 8593)