Friday, February 13, 2009

Army declares new ‘Safe Area’ for civilians in Mullaitivu

Security Forces Headquarters in Wanni, in response to humanitarian concerns that had been brought to its notice, announced the demarcation of a new 12-km long Safe Zone along the western boundary of the Mullaittivu lagoon, effective Thursday (12th February 2009 - today) afternoon, the Army Headquarters declared.

The 12-km long strip, beginning from the northwest of Vadduvakal (09 17 26.60 N & 080 47 10.60 E) to the west, and north of Vadduvakal (09 18 06.08 N & 080 48 08.30 E) to the eastern coastal boundary, runs up to Palamattalan south (09 22 17.70 N & 080 42 35.60 E) on the western side. On the coastal belt up to the extreme north, the eastern strip ends at the southeast of Palamattalan (09 22 35.60 N & 080 42 53.80 E). The area between the northwest of Vadduvakal to the north of Vadduvakal that touches the eastern sea boundary is about 2 km in width and the extent at the northern end of the strip, touching Palamattalan area is about 1 km in breadth.

The entire un-cleared coastal area from the north of Vadduvakal in the demarcated zone includes tiny villages, Vellamullavaikkal, Karayamullivaikkal, Velayanmadam, Ampelavanpokkanai and Putumattalan in the 12 km-long strip.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has already been informed of this new Safe Zone.

The Sri Lanka Army, fully committed to provide maximum safety for the lives of entrapped or forcibly detained civilians in un-cleared areas in the Mullaittivu district, calls upon the public to move into those specified areas at the earliest.