Monday, December 29, 2008

LTTE abducts 16 children from Catholic Church run orphanage - Dharmapuram

LTTE terrorists had abducted 16 children from a Catholic Church run orphanage at Dahrmapuram in Kilinochchi on Friday (Dec 26), the church sources revealed. The sources while condemning this nefarious act of terrorism called the incident to be an ideal example of the inhumanity of the terrorist outfit.

Meanwhile, a group of civilians who were terrorized by the above incident have sought refuge with army on Saturday (Dec 27) afternoon. The refugees while confirming the incident have said that the abducted children had been taken to be trained as child soldiers and suicide bombers. 38 civilians belonging to 9 families including 3 infants have arrived at one of the Army Task Force 1 outposts after a risky journey across Kilaly lagoon. The refugees have told our special correspondent in the area that they had their homes close to the said orphanage and decided to escape into liberated areas for the love of their children.

"They (LTTE cadres) beat up the two priests in charge of the orphanage when they refused to give away the orphans" an eye witness has told our correspondent.

According to the sources, the terrorists had stormed the orphanage on the Boxing Day evening and demanded the two priest in charge of the place to give away all children above 12 years of age.

"They (LTTE) tied up the two priests and blindfold them before taking away the children at gunpoint" he has added.

A mother of two among the refugees who had also witnessed the crime said that she could not bear up the scene when the children had cried out for help.

"Those innocent children tried in vain to cling on to the two priests. They pleaded the LTTE cadres to let them go. But they were dragged like cattle taking to the slaughterhouse ...."

"I would never forgive myself for not helping those children ... But I have to save my children first. That is why I left my home "she has said showing her two young children.

Meanwhile, the church sources said that it was only Saturday (Dec 27) morning that the two priests had been able to untie themselves and reported the matter to church administration. The orphanage was initially located at Kilinochchi but recently moved to Dharmapuram due to increasing LTTE threats. It has been effectively functioning with the lavish support of the church and other donors for the last several years. The Church sources further said several more previous attempts of this nature were resisted and thwarted by the priests in charge. Church authorities are still on the look out for these parentless children who grew up in the orphanage while attending to their schooling.