ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 43

5000 people take refuge in Madhu

The hallowed Catholic shrine of Madhu was yesterday filled with about 5,000 displaced people who fled their homes after two days of fighting between security forces and Tiger guerrillas.

As thosuands fled from the latest battles in the north, a soldier is seen helping a child to climb down a step as some families sought refuge in government-held Vavuniya district areas. Pic by Ranjith Jayasundera

Reports said the displaced people had come from the Panivirichchan, Sinnapanivirichchan, Vilankulam and Periyathampanai in the Mannar and Vavuniya districts.

Church sources said the civilians had come there in fear of being caught in the crossfire and temporary shelter, food and essentials were being provided to them. They said this was the first time since the 2002 ceasefire that refugees had come in large numbers to the shrine.

Mannar’s Additional Government Agent A. Nicholaspillai said he was not aware of the situation in the Madhu shrine area due to a breakdown in commuanications.

Civilians started fleeing soon after security forces launched their operation on Friday morning.

Some families also fled to the government-held areas in the Vavuniya District.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.