Thousands of Tamils flee from government-controlled areas
[b]Thousands of Tamils flee from government-controlled areas in Sri Lanka[/b]
As the danger of open civil war in Sri Lanka intensifies, thousands of Tamils in the North and East of the island have fled their homes to areas controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Several dozen people have also left for the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
The exodus comes after two months of steadily escalating violence. At least 150 military personnel, LTTE members and civilians have died since the election of President Mahinda Rajapakse. The armed forces have stepped up the harassment and intimidation of Tamils through increased patrols, checkpoints and arbitrary cordon and search operations.
According to WSWS correspondents in Jaffna, about 3,000 families had left the Jaffna peninsula by the end of last week for the LTTE-controlled Vanni. Over the past weeks, hundreds of families have travelled through Muhamalai, south of Jaffna town—the entry point to the Vanni.