News Update Service
Monday, January 5, 2009 : 1920 Hrs      
RSS Feeds


Sections
  • Top Stories
  • National
  • International
  • Regional
  • Business
  • Sport
  • Sci. & Tech.
  • Entertainment
  • Agri. & Commodities
  • Health

  • Index

  • Photo Gallery

    The Hindu
    Print Edition

  • Front Page
  • National
  • Tamil Nadu
  • Andhra Pradesh
  • Karnataka
  • Kerala
  • Delhi
  • Other States
  • International
  • Opinion
  • Business
  • Sport
  • Miscellaneous
  • Index

  • Magazine
  • Literary Review
  • Metro Plus
  • Business
  • Education Plus
  • Open Page
  • Book Review
  • SciTech
  • NXg
  • Entertainment
  • Cinema Plus
  • Young World
  • Property Plus
  • Quest

  • Top Stories
    Kilinochchi, virtually a ghost city

    Kilinochchi (PTI): Deserted streets, roof-less buildings and a giant water tank fallen facewards -- the once bustling de facto LTTE capital wears a ghostly look with some one lakh residents appearing to have melted away.

    "Welcome to the Tamil Eelam Health Centre," says a banner outside a hospital in Kilinochchi, which was recaptured after 10 years by the Sri Lankan troops last week giving a major blow to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels.

    There are no inmates or doctors but only a structure bereft of ceiling, which the army says has been removed by the LTTE to use the metal roof and asbestos for building bunkers.

    A team of select mediapersons taken on a tour by the Sri Lankan army to the run-down city saw a town which was unoccupied barring soldiers everywhere.

    The soldiers told the media team that much as they wanted the citizens to remain where they were as the government was preparing to rehabilitate them, they suspected the civilians moved along with the LTTE under "intimidation".

    Most of the abandoned houses are roof-less, but the walls are colourfully painted, many with mild hues. According to some, the civilians in the LTTE areas chose to have colours soothing to the eyes to depict tranquility and peace instead of a garish paint.

    The tastefully painted and sculpted Tamil temples were left intact without any damage and as a soldier commented in broken English," even the Lord is waiting for the pujas to recommence".

    "If you see the temples in the city you can find they have been treated with reverence and (there is) not a trace of destruction," a senior commander said.

    While some portion of the A-9 highway was motorable, many stretches only raked up sand and mud.

    The city estimated to have had over one lakh people will need a lot of repair work to be fit for occupation.

    Asked about the time required to rebuild the Kilinochchi city, army technicians said even Jaffna bore such a look when it was recaptured from the LTTE years ago but over the period it was restored.

    "Many houses don't have roofs. They would have to be redone. But our primary job is to get back the people who have moved off with the LTTE," an army officer said.

    The big shock for the army came when they saw a huge destroyed gigantic structure in the night.

    "Two or three days ago when our soldiers marched into the city we thought some elephants have died there," said an army jawan trying to explain about the fall of a 200-feet overhead tank having a capacity to store thousands of gallons of water.

    When asked whether the giant tank could have been destroyed due to an air attack, an brigade commander said there were traces of explosive at the roots of the tank.

    "What we make of it is that the LTTE, while leaving the city, have tried to damage the infrastructure to inconvenience our marching soldiers," the commander said.

    "If you see the temples in the city you can find they have been treated with reverence and (there is) not a trace of destruction," a senior commander said.

    While some portion of the A-9 highway was motorable, many stretches only raked up sand and mud.

    The city estimated to have had over one lakh people will need a lot of repair work to be fit for occupation.

    Asked about the time required to rebuild the Kilinochchi city, army technicians said even Jaffna bore such a look when it was recaptured from the LTTE years ago but over the period it was restored.

    "Many houses don't have roofs. They would have to be redone. But our primary job is to get back the people who have moved off with the LTTE," an army officer said.

    The big shock for the army came when they saw a huge destroyed gigantic structure in the night.

    "Two or three days ago when our soldiers marched into the city we thought some elephants have died there," said an army jawan trying to explain about the fall of a 200-feet overhead tank having a capacity to store thousands of gallons of water.

    When asked whether the giant tank could have been destroyed due to an air attack, an brigade commander said there were traces of explosive at the roots of the tank.

    "What we make of it is that the LTTE, while leaving the city, have tried to damage the infrastructure to inconvenience our marching soldiers," the commander said.


    Top Stories


    Weather

  • Bangalore
  • Chennai
  • Hyderabad
  • Delhi
  • Thiruvananthapuram





  • Sections: Top Stories | National | International | Regional | Business | Sport | Sci. & Tech. | Entertainment | Agri. & Commodities | Health | Index
    The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Contacts | Subscription
    Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | Business Line News Update | Sportstar | Frontline | Publications | eBooks | Images | Home

    Copyright © 2008, The Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu