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SLAF bombs Ponnampalam hospital, 60 patients feared killed

[TamilNet, Saturday, 7 February 2009 14:52 One Comment]

Puthu1015_01_445 Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) bombers on Friday bombed and fully destroyed Ponnampalam Memorial hospital in Puthukkudiyiruppu (PTK), killing scores and wounding many, according to initial reports received from PTK. The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) launched indiscriminate artillery barrage on the hospital, totally disabling the rescue of the surviving patients. Initial reports said 40 patients warded there were killed, but latest reports put the casualty figure at 60, which is yet to be verified by the hospital authorities. The bombardment comes after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and British Foreign Secretary David Miliband urging the warring parties not to attack medical facilities both within and outside the safety zone following the claim by SL Defence Secretary Gotabhaya that hospitals outside safety zone were legitimate targets.

Ponnampalam memorial hospital is a modern non-governmental medical facility which started functioning in 1996. It was named after Dr Ponnampalam who was well known for his dedicated services in Jaffna district during the war years.

A number of foreign experts and diaspora doctors were actively engaged in developing the hospital to a modern facility during the CFA period.

"Fixed establishments and mobile medical units of the Medical Service may in no circumstances be attacked, but shall at all times be respected and protected by the Parties to the conflict," states the First Geneva Convention.

Article 18 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states that the civilian hospitals organized to give care to the wounded and sick, the infirm and maternity cases, may in no circumstances be the object of attack, but shall at all times be respected and protected by the Parties to the conflict.

Sri Lanka (Ceylon) is a signatory to the First, Second and Third Geneva Conventions and it ratified the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, by accession to it, on 23.02.1959.

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One Comment »

  • roshanth babu said:

    Srilankan government is very clever. Very clever compare to all other governments who are fighting so called terrorism… The have put the following systems in place for genocide.

    First of all they evicted all the NGO’s except Red Cross in the north of the island where the genocide is taking place. Even the UN had to move out and now have limited access.

    Secondly no media access except army takes the journalist to captured empty places under supervision. The reason a minister says “It is security. We don’t want the foreign journalist to be injured”.

    Thirdly even if some one finds the facts and report the human suffering in the conflict areas, if they are local journalist, then they are traitors. If they are foreign journalist, then they are supporting the LTTE. The punishment can vary from harassment at the best and death at the worst. Any other opinion apart from the government is seen as unacceptable, and punishable.

    Fourthly no food, medicine and all other essential items are not reaching the conflict areas, but the government says there is no problem.

    Fifthly in a very congested area bombing and artillery attacks taking place daily and hourly basis. Hospitals are hit, and So many people are killed and injured. Injured are bleed to death in many cases. The fear is that already over 2,000 deaths and 5,000 injured.

    Who will save these innocent people?