Lynn Ockersz, in Island 26 December 2018, with this title “Trilingual Wonder”
Voices of the North, Welcoming in unison the Lord’s Coming, In Sinhala, Tamil and English – Marking a ‘First’ for the Land, That by man-made divisions, Had been in the throes of suffering; A Trilingual Wonder we may call this, Thanks to the SL Army’s, Novel Hearts and Minds path to Healing, In recognition that Humanity is the key, To giving a war-wasted country, A New Birth and Beginning.
ONE: Troops Rescue Hundreds of Flood-affected Tamil Men, Women & Children in Kilinochchi & Mullaittivu Districts
Army troops in Kilinochchi and Mullaittivu districts were the first among rescue and relief teams who rushed to flood-affected areas in Kilinochchi and, are still busy providing immediate rescue assistance, cooked meals, help for evacuation and relocation, medical assistance, sanitary and technical facilities, support to District Secretariat’s relief work, etc to nearly 2968 flood-affected people in Raththinapuram, Anandapuram, Kanakambikulam, Maradanagar, Pannankandy, Dharmapuram, Puliyanpokkanei, Paranthan, Kudyirippu, Uriyan, Kandawalai, Mankulam areas in Kilinochchi under the Security Force Headquarters – Kilinochchi (SFHQ-KLN) and Mannakandal, Kawwalakandal, Kodadikallu, KJanagaratnapuram, Vidyapuram, Udayarkattu, Kuruvilkulam in Mullaittivu under the Security Force Headquarters in Mullaittivu (SFHQ-MLT).
A few more than 230 troops, belonging to 7 Sri Lanka Light Infantry Regiment, 9 Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment, 1 Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment, 15 Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment under the 57 Division of the SFHQ-KLN have been engaged in these relief operations since heavy rains that lashed the area beginning Saturday (22) have caused havoc flooding all access roads and dwelling places. Kilinochchi rescue operations are conducted on the directions of the Commander, Security Forces – Kilinochchi, Major General Ralf Nugera under the close supervision of Major General Vijitha Ravipriya, General Officer Commanding – 57 Division.
Kilinochchi troops late Saturday (22) avoided a major disaster by preventing possible breaches on Olumadhu and Pulimuchchunadukuluam tank bunds (dams) in Kilinochchi as water levels began threatening those tank perimeter bunds. Troops stacked sand bags around vulnerable places and prevented them from piercing as water levels and torrential were fast on the increase.
42 Army personnel of the 574 Brigade and 3 Gajaba Regiment troops of the 57 Division took immediate steps to place 838 sandbags around those tank bunds within a few hours.
Meanwhile, as torrential rains in Mullaittivu aggravated, troops of the SFHQ-MLT jumped into action and began rescue and relief operations in Mannakandal, Kawwalakandal, Kodadikallu, Kanagaratnapuram, Vidyapuram, Udayarkattu, Kuruvilkulam areas on the directions of Major General Dushyantha Rajaguru, Commander, Security Forces-Mullaittivu on Saturday (22).
TWO= Floods: Troops Rescue More than 1000 Stranded Mullaittivu Civilians
Army troops in Mullaittivu with the assistance of Sailors were able to rescue more than 1000 stranded and flood-affected civilians in the past 48 hours ending around 10.00 a.m. Sunday morning (23) after torrential rains and storms, beginning late Friday (21) evening swept across the general areas of Oddusudan, Mannakandal, Karuwala Kandal, Kodadi Kallu, Kanagarathnapuram and Vidyapuram areas of the 64 Division and 68 Division of the Security Force Headquarters- Mullaittivu.
As rains began causing havoc with water levels swelling fast amid stormy winds, roads turned inundated with floods bringing transport to a standstill and submerging a number of houses in those areas to floods. Some of those helpless civilians were seen atop trees and other elevated places and structures when the troops reached them. In addition to civilians, affected animals, like dogs, cows and bulls, cats, etc were also directed by troops to safer areas and they too were provided with some food items.
Troops of the 64 Division on the directions of Major General Dushyantha Rajaguru, Commander, Security Forces – Mullaittivu and under the close supervision of Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweera, General Officer Commanding, 64 Division began their rescue missions around 2.00 a.m on early Saturday (22) morning amid heavy downpour with the support of the life-saving team of the nearby Special Forces (SF) and sailors of the Navy in the Nayaru detachment in close proximity.
Troops evacuated a few more than 100 helpless men, women and children, stranded inside their own houses under floods and immediately carried them to safer locations with the support of boats. Some of the feeble and children had to be carried on shoulders as flood levels were fast swelling.
As of Sunday (23) morning, 682 people of 276 families have been re-located in safer locations and troops continue to provide them with cooked meals and immediate medical aids. Similarly, troops were compelled to clear one of the major supply routes, Nedunkerni–Mullaweli road which remained blocked due to fallen trees. Around 300 breakfast packets were also distributed among stranded people in the same morning (22) as those helpless people could not move out from homes due to surrounding water levels.
7 Gemunu Watch and 4 Sri Lanka National Guard troops of the 683 Brigade of the 68 Division under command to the SFHQ – Mullaittivu rescued 22 trapped civilians from different locations in the past 48 hours. Those relief operations in the aftermath of the rains are still continuing under the close supervision of Major General Rasika Fernando, General Officer Commanding-68 Division and respective Brigade Commanders.