Tamil cultivable lands and crops destroyed by Sri Lanka troops
| Date: 19970217
"Sri Lanka's 'Operation Edibala' is continuing with troops setting fire to Tamil crops as they advance. So far, a string of Tamil villages between Vavuniya and Mannar have been occupied. Soldiers descended on these villages like swarms of locusts sending residents running in terror as their homes were bombed and bulldozed. Acres of rice fields have been purposelyscorched during the assault in what is becoming a more and more typical military tactic.
While enforcing a food blockade to Tamil areas, Sri Lanka is systematically wiping out Tamils' own attempts at cultivation. The airforce, meanwhile, is targeting houses and public buildings making it difficult for civilians to return to their lives. Around 10,000 displaced Tamils are already crammed into Maddu Church refugee camp. Other displaced civilians have sought safety in the town of Iranai Illupaikulam. Sri Lanka pursues its military campaign under cover of a reporting ban in the areas of fighting, effectively screening the extent of damage being inflicted on the Tamil population. All war news presently emanates from Colombo through defence ministry statements." - Tamilnet News Report 12 February 1997